Force India expect no more driver clashes

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says he expects no further problems between his drivers following their latest collisions during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon have clashed repeatedly during the season and did so twice at Spa. This has prompted the team to forbid them from racing each other in future.

“We have made both drivers aware of the new team policy designed to prevent incidents like the ones in Spa from reoccurring,” said Mallya.

“As a team, we have a responsibility to defend our position and I am sure we will finish the season without any further issues.”

Mallya said the race had been a clear missed opportunity for the team. Both drivers had to pit following their collision which left Perez out of the points and Ocon ninth at the chequered flag.

“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,” Mallya added.

“At least we are back on track this weekend and we get an immediate chance to put the disappointment behind us. Monza is another quick track on which we expect to do well: like in Baku and Montreal, the layout of the track should play to our strengths.”

“At this stage of the season, it’s crucial we make the most of every opportunity to score points.”

Force India are fourth in the constructors’ championship, 58 points ahead of Williams.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

    Browse all Belgian Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    37 comments on “Force India expect no more driver clashes”

    1. Why do I have a feeling they may not get what they are hoping for…

      1. I kind of agree but I gotta say, if nobody gets hurt, it is very amusing to watch :D

    2. I really hope Ocon calms down a bit for the rest of the year and Perez needs to also take a close look at himself if he wants a top drive.

      Ocon has to realise that regardless of whether Perez is in the wrong, his stocks that were incredibly high a few races ago will drop very quickly if he can’t control himself on track or his mouth afterwards off track. I can’t see Mercedes looking all that closely at him now as an option – he was until he overdid it.

      Earlier this year (in fact up to a week ago) Perez was being touted as a possible driver at Ferrari or Renault. His actions also will see him fast falling of their hit lists as he’s shown that he’s not prepared to give an inch when his team mate is quicker.

      Both of them have potentially ruined what could have been bright futures – team principals are an unforgiving lot.

      1. You are right, Ocon needs to seriously calm down. Since Canada he is risking everything and being over aggressive in trying to get ahead on Perez.
        Even at Spa, Perez communicated he was not going to yield his racing line but Ocon was still trying to force himself through a closing gap. It was a slow accident it wasn’t a sudden move.
        Ocon might be scoring points but he is also under observation.

    3. Force India are quite lucky that they are very much in a battle of their own. They are almost guaranteed to finish fourth in the Championship with nothing to gain in front and nobody likely to get close enough from behind. That’s surely the only reason the management have been this tolerant up until now.

      It’s getting ridiculous now though and they have to start giving each other room. The two of them are rarely seen apart on track and seem to be closer in raw performance than any other set of team-mates which means that naturally some incidents will happen. Perhaps it’s worth splitting the strategies a little more where possible to keep them apart… this could also gain them something in front with a well-timed Safety Car or similar.

      The lack of consideration given by Perez and Ocon to eachother has now cost the team a sure podium in Montreal, a potential win (maybe a 1-2) in Baku and a heap of points in Spa. Not enough to get them close to Red Bull, but silly nonetheless.

      1. “A sure podium in Montreal” I think you are wrong there since one of the top teams car was going to get that position anyway.

        In Baku it could have been a possible podium for Perez maybe even a win.

        In Spa at least Perez could have been right behind Hulk.

        So far if you ask me Ocon has sabotaged what could have been Perez’s best results of the season. Ocon should know his place.

        1. Are you kidding me? Perez is a liability! He thinks far too much of himself. How many times was he getting argy bargy with Button at McLaren? With Button of all people! I think you could count on one hand the amount of times Button every touched anyone else, let alone a team mate, before Perez came along.

          He’s arrogant and self absorbed and thinks he’s better than he actually is. Ocon is a better driver than Perez which is obvious and plain to see for everyone.

          If they had to choose right now, sponsorship money aside, I would bet you FI would pick Ocon.

          1. I agree Nick.
            Although Perez does have talent, it seems to come and go. Given the two as driver choices for the future, hands down it goes to Ocon.
            Ocon did much better working his way up the ladder. But for me, I would double check who is out there, who is coming up the ladder. You mind as well seek a young talent and stick him in Perez’s car. The “#1 driver” is too worried about trying to beat Ocon and ends up wrecking both cars races. Why not let a rookie have a go.

          2. Very well said Nick.

          3. Button brake tested Perez, not the other way around.

            Don´t be ridiculous…

      2. Fikri Harish (@)
        29th August 2017, 17:58

        Keep in mind however that despite Spa being a power track and Renault’s PU still not quite up to snuff, Hulkenberg managed to consistently match the pace of the Force India cars and even being quite faster at some point in the race.
        I doubt Palmer would suddenly gain enough pace to take the Constructor standings from Force India but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hulkenberg’s Renault could consistently outrace the Force Indias over the rest of the season.

    4. They really aren’t doing themselves any favours.

      Getting lots of air time for their sponsors though, and the team is looking great to be able to wrap up 4th place which will look great to potential new owners. I’m sure all the other lower tabled teams would want to be force India with their problems though.

      I wonder if Fernando would buy them out, he could probably be challenging for third in a FI. He could rename it Force Alonso, or just FA. Who would he have as a team mate though, would he bring in Massa?

        1. He could go with FIA for Force India Alonso. I’m sure that wouldn’t bother anybody. :)

          1. Lol, would the other teams be crazy enough to challenge the FIA.

    5. A damn shame in Baku and Spa for Perez it was looking great and the best results of the season could have been possible. Ocon knows when to strike I’ll give him that.

      As someone stated unfortunately the Force India’s have no competition so they see each other on track a lot but I do see Renault closing the gap.

      Someone in FI needs to tell Ocon to relax.

      1. There’s only 1 Force India driver that needs to pull his head in – PEREZ!

    6. Ocon is a superstar and will be world champion one day

      1. Another quote worth saving.

      2. Driving touring cars?
        To become world champion, you need to use your head also, not just the throttle.
        ForceIndia needs to control him because he is fixated on his team mate and not the team.

        1. I think you have that turned around. Perez is the problem at the moment.

      3. Agreed, I can see it.

    7. Force India also expects Trump to stop saying idiotic things.

    8. They are both stupid. Great drivers though.

    9. Great Drivers, race track management need more replacement than drivers, I mean is unbelievable this driving force has not been capitalized by overwhelmed race strategist crew. Force India need urgently capable race management team overhaul. I wonder what Ross brawn could have done with this pair.

    10. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      29th August 2017, 21:34

      I know it’s very unlikely, but if they had scored fat points and keep doing it from now on, they could even surpass Red Bull, who usually only score with one car.

    11. The headline should be “Force India *hope for* no more driver clashes”

    12. There should be a poll on Perez Vs Ocon to gauge the support among F1fanatics on the ongoing battle among Force India drivers.

    13. All started in Canada, Ocon ask and cry to the team to let them pass Checo in order to pass Kimi, and almost everybody talked trash to Checo because he didn’t want to let Ocon pass, but the time give the reason to Checo, when Mercedes switch the cars in Hungary and nothing happen, Lewis couldn’t pass Kimi and he give back the place to Valtteri. Then the incident in Baku, Checo was on 3rd place and Ocon in 5th, what happen Ocon tried and impossible movement in order to pass Checo and crash with him, the result Checo was out of the race, then again in SPA, Checo was on 7th place and Ocon on 8th, Ocon tried an impossible movement to pass checo and crash with him, the result the mexican was out of the race.

      In summary just counting Baku and Spa, Checo could finish in 3rd and 7th and Ocon in 4th and 8th in those races and with that Checo could has 74 points and be in 6th place in the championship, Ocon 53 and Force India 127 in 4th place with a lot of margin to Williams.

      YES, Ocon is a good driver, but he made a lot of rookie mistakes, and NO, he is not better than Checo.

    14. I think we need a poll. How people are blaming Ocon for the Spa incident(s) is delusional.

      1. I guess it makes sense from the perspective that Perez has had 6 years in F1, built up a fanbase and is loved in Mexico. Ocon is only being judged on his talent and is still gaining plenty of objective support.

    15. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th August 2017, 14:07

      I know the topic is stale but I’ve had more time to think about the incident and I have formed a different opinion. From a racing perspective, Pérez was probably to blame for both incidents. He’s accepted responsibility for the first one and he’s offered his perspective on the second one and most people, myself included, put the majority of the blame on Pérez.

      However, from a teammate perspective I cannot help but put the blame for both incidents on Ocon. Yes the moves were gutsy and risky and I would have applauded both, were they executed against any other driver. Against a teammate though, the moves were both not acceptable. During his interview, Ocon seemed to think that he was at fault for the 1st incident where he put his car alongside Hulkenberg and Pérez heading into eau rouge. That was bad judgment on his behalf and could have easily ended in tears for both drivers.

      Pérez, on the other hand, bided his time and got in front of Ocon. Then Ocon made the same risky move heading into eau rouge. There’s no issue with that except when you consider that the car he was passing into eau rouge was the sister car.

      Yes, Pérez is to blame for the incidents but he wasn’t the architect of those incidents. Ocon was and in that regard he’s the one who failed Force India last weekend. He cost the team points and endangered both their lives in doing so.

      1. Perez didn’t leave a cars width. Next to a wall no less and then said he didnt have space? Didn’t have space on a piece of track that earlier had accommodated 3 wide? Sorry, all Perez.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th August 2017, 17:45

          @offdutyrockstar Well, we are being a bit harsh because Pérez had to move to give the space in a super fast corner leading to eau rouge. The exact car’s width is not easy to estimate there for any F1 driver. Ocon could have just stayed behind Pérez. Look at Hamilton’s pass on Raikonnen – he didn’t put Raikonnen to the test to see if they’ll both retire.

          1. @freelittlebirds fair. And the first pro Perez argument I’ve seen that makes some sense 👍🏽

          2. I agree completely.

            Ocon is trying way too hard to make a name for himself, unfortunately for Force India, he can only beat his teammate. They are in the middle of nowhere, they can’t fight with Red Bull ahead and nobody is trailing close from behind…

            He can only focus on Perez and that is messing his head: He’s loosing badly in the numbers.

            1. Disagree with that, Perez knows Ocon is way too close for comfort and that top drive is looking less and less likely, just down to the sheer number of candidates in line for Mercedes and Ferrari. He is the one that’s losing his head, look at Canada where he made life extraordinarily difficult for his teammate and refused the teams suggestion to switch positions yet laid the welcome mat out for Sebastien?

              Perez is the one who’s head is all over the place.

    Comments are closed.