Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has revealed he threatened to drop Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon after the team-mates clashed at the São Paulo Grand Prix sprint.
The Enstone and Viry-based team was in a strong position with both cars in the top 10 after qualifying in Brazil.
But on lap one of the sprint, Alonso and Ocon twice made contact, causing damage to both cars that saw them drop out of the scoring positions with the Spaniard also penalised by the stewards.
Despite the pair's troubles, both fought back in the grand prix to secure points to establish a 19-point margin over McLaren.
Barring an incredible Abu Dhabi race for the Woking-based team, this should secure fourth in the constructors' standings for Alpine.
Asked how the Brazil situation was handled, Rossi explained: "I told the drivers as long as they behave like adults, I will treat them like adults, so they can race until the team is worse off, which happened last weekend.
"I reminded them of our contracts and I reminded them of the fact that I have plenty of drivers longing to race in their place and it would be a shame to finish the year with two other drivers, even if it cost me a lot.
"They took their responsibility and they did a brilliant job. It happens to everyone I guess.
"This is what makes these drivers incredible champions. They have a killer instinct and sometimes it goes a bit too far. That is my role as well, to bring them back in their space."
Alpine recovery "perfect" - Rossi
There was a flashpoint at the end of the race when Alonso, on fresher tyres and an alternate three-stop strategy, was behind Ocon during the late safety car period.
After some consternation over team radio, the Frenchman complied with wishes to assist Alonso but on whether team orders were agreed before the race, Rossi replied: "No, no. We told them that if we had to, they would have to follow the orders but there were no team orders.
"We had two different strategies. We could not predict which would be a better outcome but based on the pace and circumstances, we told them that if we had to, we would impose a swap and they would have to comply, which they did.
"It was perfect."