Perez slams Force India teammate Ocon over collision

Sergio Perez says the clash that ruined Force India’s podium chances in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was “totally unacceptable for the team” – and firmly laid the blame at the door of teammate Esteban Ocon.

Perez slams Force India teammate Ocon over collision
 Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

The teammates collided just two weeks after Perez decided not to follow a team suggestion to allow Ocon past him in Montreal, in an attempt to chase down Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.

Following a safety car restart in Baku on Sunday, the Force Indias collided on the exit of Turn 2 while running fourth and fifth.

All the cars in front of them were subsequently delayed, raising the possibility that their collision had ruined a double podium – or even race victory, as they were both running ahead of Ricciardo, who went on to win.

“Between us, we ruined a great opportunity for the team,” said Perez, who was forced to retire later with damage from their clash.

“Actually I feel that I couldn’t have done anything to avoid the accident. I was next to the wall, and there was no room for me to go.

“It’s a big shame, the way everything turned out, it was just over-aggressive. In all my career I’ve had teammates who have been hard but given enough room. What happened today is totally unacceptable for the team.

“I think the way he raced today wasn't right. I think he did didn't have any logic.”

Ocon claims Perez hit him first

Ocon went on to finish sixth, despite being forced to pit to replace a punctured tyre following the intra-team clash.

He said: “I’m happy with the performance and disappointed with the potential we had. Obviously it’s never nice to have an incident like that in the race between me and Checo. I lost a lot of places, but still managed to get some points for the team.

“He touched me after Turn 1, and then I was on the inside for Turn 2, and we touched again. Unfortunately, it’s racing and it happens sometimes.

“For sure we will discuss it and it should not happen in the future.”

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