There have always been rivalries within teams in Formula 1. Throughout the years, teams have gained the experience of handling big personalities within the Team itself. Championship level drivers have, on occasion, been known to have egos and lots of character. This can lend itself to high levels of competition that a team can benefit from or struggle with, depending on the drivers and how the team is managed. Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Petronas Mercedes, has a wealth of experience dealing with just such a situation after several seasons juggling the relationship between current champion, Lewis Hamilton, and his former teammate, Nico Rosberg.

That being said, the rivalry between Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon reached a level that Wolff found to be both bothersome and frustrating.

Multiple collisions benefit no one

Several times during the 2017 Formula 1 season, teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon collided. More often than not, it was due to the unwillingness to give right of way or respect the other's line. These collisions, unfortunately, not only affected Ocon and Perez but also several other drivers and teams. The controversy began when team orders were issued at the Canadian Grand Prix. From there the situation only deteriorated, and collisions occurred in Azerbaijan, Hungary, and Belgium as well.

In addition, there were several near misses along the way that could have easily escalated into collisions.

Throughout the season Force India attempted to get a hold of their drivers and the situation, and issued team orders. The situation seemed to be handled but continued to simmer under the surface. At one point Ocon approached Toto Wolff for help dealing with the situation. Wolff was most displeased with the situation and had little help to offer.

Rivalries within teams, especially ones that escalate into crashes, are bad for everyone involved, including Formula 1 as a whole. Collisions that take out both cars on a team, involve other cars, and create delays in races all cause problems for what is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsports. In addition, infighting within teams creates drama that prohibits a team from being able to run smoothly and successfully.

Not to mention, it reflects poorly on Formula 1 as a sport when there is more drama off the track than on it.

Handling the problem going forward

Going forward, Force India has firmly warned its drivers against petty rivalries and unnecessary track battles. Toto Wolff, while quick to point out that Esteban Ocon did well in 2017, also mentioned that he will have to kick his game up a notch to keep up with Sergio Perez. Perez, for his part, has warned his team about team orders and declared that he will not follow them if he doesn't feel they are beneficial to the team or his career.

The competition in Formula 1 this year promises to be more fierce than ever before and no team has time for fighting and rivalries within the team.

As the 2018 season approaches teams will be addressing this issue, and many issues, off the bat in order to have a smooth and successful season. In order to fight for the championship, teams will have to end the fighting within their organizations.