Perez/Ocon to be told Baku clash was "unacceptable"

Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will be told by their bosses that collisions like they had in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are ‘unacceptable’, as the team was left counting the cost of a big missed opportunity.

Perez/Ocon to be told Baku clash was "unacceptable"
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10 and Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10 at the restart
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Felipe Massa, Williams FW40, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India watches teammate Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10 after crashing out of First practice session
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10, broken rear suspension damage

Perez and Ocon were fighting for a potential podium spot in Baku when, at the second safety car restart, they clashed at the tricky Turn 2.

Ocon suffered a puncture, broken brake duct, T-wing and floor but was able to continue after a pit stop, while Perez was initially retired from the race with a broken track rod.

Although a subsequent red flag, brought out to clear debris that the incident had caused, allowed more repairs and Ocon was able to recover to finish sixth, team bosses were still unhappy at the opportunity that had slipped through their fingers.

And Force India’s COO Otmar Szafnauer said that both drivers would likely be summoned for talks to discuss the matter – and be told that they crossed the line.

"The worst thing you can do is hit your teammate because it gives other teams opportunities that they really shouldn’t have had," explained Szafnauer.

"It is pretty tricky too because it is a street circuit, and anywhere else Checo would have been able to move over a bit and they would have been fine. But there is a wall there.

"We will definitely review it in a professional manner, talk to the drivers and say this is unacceptable. We cannot be running into each other.

"It is bad enough if you run into a competitor because that can damage your race, but not your teammate because that can take you both out. They understand that. They are intelligent guys."

Asked how he judged the incident itself, Szafnauer added: "I was looking at it. It is 50/50, 55/45, I have to review it some more. But Checo didn’t get the start he should have, Esteban got a better restart and then didn’t give him enough room."

Although Perez reckoned after the race that Force India had been in contention for the win, Szafnauer was not so sure.

"I don’t think so," he said. "I thought so [at the time], but I don’t think so now.

"[Sebastian] Vettel got his penalty due to that restart, so we would have beaten him. And [Daniel] Ricciardo we would have beaten him.

"But without us causing the red flag, Hamilton’s headrest wouldn’t have come up, so he would have won it. So, would have, could have, should have...we still would have been second or third."

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