LONDON (AFP) - Lotus team chief Eric Boullier has joined the chorus of leading Formula One figures in expecting Red Bull to punish Sebastian Vettel for disobeying team orders in last month's controversial Malaysian Grand Prix.
In the build-up to next Sunday's third race of the season, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Boullier said he felt it was much too early in the season to impose team orders, but added that if they were imposed teams had to insist on them being obeyed.
He said: "Don't forget that the drivers are paid to work for you, as they are for the company. "I don't see any people in the world who could disobey their company and not be sanctioned - or at least give clarification as to why they've disobeyed."
The Frenchman added that he would enforce orders in his team if necessary even with cavalier 2007 champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen if necessary. He said: "One of our drivers is famous for doing pretty much what we wants, but when you have 600 people behind you, there is a certain respect you must have for the team."
Last year, while on his way to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Raikkonen famously told his race engineer to 'leave me alone... I know what I am doing.' Mr Boullier told Autosport that he had experience of drivers disobeying team orders.
He explained: "It happens because of the adrenaline and excitement of winning a race, but I think in Formula One it should not happen.
"Firstly, we should not have team orders so early in the season; not while the championship is at such an early stage. When it happens you need to fix it and fix it quickly." Mr Boullier was commentating following Vettel's decision to ignore team orders and overtake Mark Webber to snatch victory in Sepang.