Image source: motorinside.com
August 31st 2017
Force India Formula 1 chief Vijay Mallya has confirmed that drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez have been spoken to about the team's new policy to prevent future on-track clashes after the incident in last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
Villeneuve then mentioned that it's not only unsafe for those on track, but for the spectators as well.
While they escaped without incident in the first, the second cost the team vital points as both cars were damaged with Ocon recovering to finish P9 and Perez later retiring.
In the first incident, they touched wheels as Ocon moved on the outside of the track shortly after the start, with Perez responding by squeezing the Frenchman against the barrier. "Risking our lives for nothing!
I'm committed to the success of Sahara Force India, and I'm confident that as a team we will put this behind us to reach even greater levels of success together". "He risked my life", Ocon told British broadcaster Channel 4.
Ocon added in separate comments: "It's hard for me to understand why he was so aggressive".
"He's supposed to be a professional driver and he didn't show it today".
"I'm going to go and speak to him man to man and tell him the truth".
Having already collided on the opening lap, the Force India driver compromised both his and teammate Esteban Ocon's afternoon when he closed the door on the Frenchman on the run towards Eau Rouge on lap 30, yet the consequences could easily have been much graver.
But he defended himself over the incident on lap 30, which led to the race being held up for four laps as the safety auto came out and the 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) track was cleared of debris. He has not done that with any other team-mates, I don't know why he's doing it with me. "There was no need to touch there".
"I'm not saying I did it because of that, in Baku, but the tension started back then", he said.
They are close in the championship standings, divided by just nine points, with Perez seventh overall and Ocon eighth.
The friction began at the Canadian GP, the race prior to Baku, when the faster Ocon was exasperated at his team's decision not to let him overtake Perez.
Now team orders of a different kind have been imposed.
Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer explained: "This is what you get when you have two very competitive drivers who are fairly equal in performance in a decent vehicle".
"In the future they'll never have that opportunity again".
"This is the most unsafe thing you can do in racing and they never penalise that in F1", he said.
The team were furious because this was only the latest in a series of incidents between the two and they are anxious the line-up is becoming untenable.
News source: http://newburghgazette.com
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