Azerbaijan Grand Prix: War of words continues between Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon

Spielberg: Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon remained at loggerheads on Thursday as they articulated differing views on their collision at last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Perez said he believes his Force India team-mate Ocon needs to change his attitude and learn to understand what racing in Formula One really means.

Force India driver Sergio Perez of Mexico sits in his car after crashing during the first free practice at the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, Friday, June 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

File image of Force India driver Sergio Perez. AP

But Ocon rejects that view and said he is determined to continue racing in the same way.

The pair collided at last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the accident costing Force India a probable podium finish as their drivers were running third and fourth at the time.

Mexican Perez said that in four years with German Nico Hulkenberg as his team-mate he had no on-track problems, but rejected the idea that he and the Frenchman needed to be controlled by team orders.

"No I don't think that's needed," he told reporters at the Red Bull Ring ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Perez continued, "I think simply, Esteban needs to understand what racing means. Racing means just racing another car, not crashing into the other car. I think pretty much all the team-mates on the grid are free to race and with the respect to the other car and to the other rival."

"In four years with Nico, we never had an issue and we were free to race. We had big battles on track, but we were always free to race. I think as long as Esteban understands what racing means then that should be clear.

"I expect him to be intelligent enough to understand what he did was wrong and to change a bit his attitude for the benefit of the team."

Asked specifically about their collision in Baku, he added: "My point of view is still the same – if I look back there's nothing I could have done differently to avoid the accident.

"It's a shame because I feel that we lost a podium, probably with both cars, and a lot of points and our main rival took the podium.

"I tried to defend my position, which any driver will do. I think what happened was totally unacceptable."

Ocon responded by saying he had no intention of changing his approach and added that the team had told him they believed both drivers were equally to blame.

"After the race, I took a plane to go to Silverstone to review it with the team," said Ocon. "They prepared some notes with what they thought and we came to the conclusion that it was a 50/50.

"It was not only my fault, not only Sergio's fault, but it was both of our fault. There were things he did that were not right. There are things I did which were not right. So overall it makes it a race incident and 50/50."

He added: "I'm not going to change my attitude. I think it's been working well since the beginning of the year with the team and the way we work."


Published Date: Jul 07, 2017 01:26 pm | Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 01:26 pm


Also See