Image source: f1fanatic.co.uk
August 31st 2017
Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon have been told of a "new team policy" following their collisions in the Belgian GP, team principal Vijay Mallya has confirmed.
The pair twice made contact in Sunday's race on the run down to Eau Rouge, the second of which cost the team a hatful of points and left both drivers blaming each other.
Within minutes of the second incident, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Sky F1 that Force India would now consider team orders - after the pair had previously clashed in Canada and Azerbaijan - and Mallya said new rules of engagement have now been introduced.
"We have made both drivers aware of the new team policy designed to prevent incidents like the ones in Spa from reoccurring," Mallya said.
"It's hard to look back on the race at Spa, knowing we had the pace to score a lot of points, and came away with only two.
"At this stage of the season, it's crucial we make the most of every opportunity to score points.
"As a team, we have a responsibility to defend our position and I am sure we will finish the season without any further issues."
Perez and Ocon first made contact on the opening lap of the Belgian GP as they ran three-abreast with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, Perez squeezing his team-mate into the wall.
They then touched again to race-ruining effect on lap 30 with Perez suffering a right rear puncture and eventually being forced to retire, and Ocon being left with front-wing damage.
After the race, Ocon took to social media and accused Perez of twice trying to 'kill' him, having labelled the Mexican's driving "unprofessional" to Sky F1.
"The first incident, I accept it even if I think he saw me in the mirror," the Frenchman said after finishing ninth.
"We were three wide, but I accept that one even if he squeezed me into the wall and that's very dangerous and not professional.
"But the second one is one too much. What is the point of doing that? He just squeezed me into the wall at 300kph risking my life, risking his life, for no reason and costing a lot of points for the team.
"He's supposed to be a professional driver and he didn't show it today."
Perez accepted responsibility for the first contact but pointed the finger of blame at his team-mate for the later collision.
"The second incident I think Esteban was really optimistic there because there was no room for two cars," Perez said.
"He had the whole straight to do the manoeuvre so it's a shame that we touched. We ruined our race."
News source: skysports.com
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