Red Bull Racing openly used team orders to get Max Verstappen the win at the recently concluded Spanish Grand Prix. The win alongside Charles Leclerc's retirement gave the Dutch racer the lead in the Drivers' championship.

The Ferrari driver looked comfortably on course to win the race in Barcelona, but suffered a power unit failure midway through the race. Leclerc's retirement saw Red Bull prioritise Verstappen and used teammate Sergio Perez to deliver the race win.

The Italian team has been advised to follow the same route if they want to help Leclerc win his maiden Drivers' world championship in 2022. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has thus far maintained that both his drivers - Leclerc and Carlos Sainz - can race each other as long as they keep it clean.

Max Verstappen
Red Bull's Max Verstappen is looking to build on his win in Saudi Arabia ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

However, the Spaniard's struggles in the initial six races have seen him rarely compete at the front alongside Leclerc and Verstappen. He is currently 39 points behind his teammate and 45 points behind the championship leader.

Ferrari have been warned by former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer that it is time to stop being diplomatic and put their weight behind Leclerc. The Briton is certain that Verstappen will cruise to the title if Sainz is allowed to take points off his title challenging teammate.

"With Red Bull looking so strong currently and clearly throwing their weight behind Verstappen, Ferrari must be thinking to move to the same position were Carlos Sainz to be ahead of Charles Leclerc soon," Palmer said, as quoted by the Daily Express.

Charles Leclerc
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc POOL via AFP / Giuseppe CACACE

"Mattia Binotto has said thus far he'd let his duo race it out, but with the way both are driving at the moment, it's tough to see anything other than Leclerc being their championship challenger. Surely it would be foolish to let Sainz take points off him?"

The Ferrari team is no stranger to using team orders, as they have used it to aid their drivers in the past - during the Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso era. Unless Sainz mounts a comeback in the upcoming races, there is a possibility he will play second fiddle to Leclerc.

The F1 juggernaut arrives at Leclerc's home race this weekend in Monaco. The Red Bull and Ferrari are expected to again be fighting at the front, but they could be joined by Mercedes, who made a strong step forward in Spain.

Top two: Carlos Sainz, left, and Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc congratulate each other after qualifying in Miami Brendan Smialowski/AFP