Whincup "naive" in van Gisbergen battle

Jamie Whincup says he was "naive" to think Shane van Gisbergen would slot in behind him during a controversial Supercars race in Sydney last week.

Whincup "naive" in van Gisbergen battle

The two Triple Eight drivers found themselves locked in battle in the closing stages of last Sunday's final sprint race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

While both looked to be on a better strategy than leader Will Brown, a door-to-door battle delayed the T8 drivers in their chase of the Erebus Holden.

Whincup ignored calls from T8 team manager Mark Dutton to let van Gisbergen through so they could hunt down Brown together, instead asking the team to call off van Gisbergen's charge.

In the end Brown was able to hold on for a first win ahead of Whincup and van Gisbergen.

Following the race Whincup made no apologies for his defiance of team orders, however he has since softened his stance.

Speaking to Fox Sports ahead of this weekend's fourth and final SMP event he said it was "naive" to expect van Gisbergen not to fight from behind.

He also expressed remorse for going against Dutton's "captain's call".

"What I was hoping – I was probably a bit naive – all those times that I pulled over and let the #97 through during the year, maybe there might be a little bit in return," said Whincup.

"Maybe work with me to get a one-two. But that was me being completely naive.

"I'm a big believer of the captain's call. When there's such a democracy and so many opinions, sometimes you need the captain to make the call. I'm a huge believer of that.

"So for the captain at the time, which was Dutto, to make the call and for me to reverse that, looking back that's what I was most disappointed with.

"Somebody made the big call and I went against it."

Van Gisbergen added that he felt conflicted during the battle, as he loved racing Whincup, but knew they were doing the wrong thing by the team.

"I didn't like getting pushed off the track but I loved the battle and I loved the racing," he said. "But I knew that it wasn't going to be good when we got back to the truck.

"I'm a little bit confused by it because I enjoyed it, but i knew the wrong thing was happening at the time. I was getting clean run off the road, which is fine when you're battling, but not against a teammate when there's a bigger picture at hand."

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