Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Force India, 2018

Perez and Ocon free to race again: ‘They’re past the ‘conflict stage”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Force India will allow Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon to race each other again despite their collisions during last season.

What they’re saying

Force India’s drivers came to blows on track more than once last season. How will the team handle them this year? Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer gave this insight following the launch of their new car:

We’re going to start off the season as we left it last year. If you remember the last few races they were allowed to compete against each other.

Like any relationship or partnership in a team they go through phases. And one of the phases of team building as you probably know is the conflict stage. And when you get past the conflict stage then you work better together. And I think that’s the stage that they’re at now. They had to understand each other and get through that phase which they’ve gotten through and now we look forward to working together as a team even stronger than before that conflict stage.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:


Victor Martins, Formula Renault Eurocup, R-Ace GP, Hockenheimring, 2018
Victor Martins, Formula Renault Eurocup, R-Ace GP, Hockenheimring, 2018

Renault’s junior team drivers will carry a version of the team’s F1 livery on their cars this year.

Comment of the day

The big pass for the win never came but Formula E’s race in Uruguay yesterday got a thumbs-up:

Great race, spectacular defensive drive from Jean-Eric Vergne, didn’t put a foot wrong despite that huge pressure from Lucas di Grassi.

Good racing all around, that pass of Mitch Evans on Felix Rosenqvist on the slippery fast corner was stunning.

Formula E delivered today.

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  • 40 comments on “Perez and Ocon free to race again: ‘They’re past the ‘conflict stage””

    1. Question, are any of the current lower leagues of open cockpit motor sport at the same performance level of F1 cars of yesteryear. If so, which current lower league is equal to which era of past f1.

      I am guessing that this would have to be pre 00 f1 cars, or probably pre 95, but I’m sure someone will answer this pretty quick….

      1. Sure you”ll get plenty replies, but you can’t make comparisons between completely different sets of regulations. Aero, engine displacement and tyre size factor to mention a few. We had 1.500 bhp engines in the past, we had a “fan” car tha sucked the road, ground effect, quali tyres etc. If you look at the f2 regulation the f2s should be quicker than most f1 cars.

        1. @peartree, no, the sport never had 1500bhp engines – the only vague indication that such readings ever existed were supposedly one set of flash pressure readings in 1986, and those readings are known to overpredict the power output of an engine by a fairly significant margin (probably at least 10-15% too high). There are quite a few former F1 staff from that era who now carry out restoration work on the cars of that era, and they have stated that, not only in terms of design, but also in terms of the workmanship of the time, that they just weren’t capable of producing that much power.

          @mach1, when you talk about past performance, don’t forget that the field in the 1980’s and 1990’s saw quite considerable field spread – sometimes there could be a difference of about five seconds between the front and rear of the field. Equally, there is the caveat of whether you are referring to performance over a single lap or over multiple laps, which could lead to differing results (especially when you take into account factors such as refuelling being permitted in the 1990’s in F1, but now not being permitted).
          Besides, there are not that many circuits that are that similar now to the configurations that were used in the past and which are shared by both junior series and by F1, so even comparing something as simple as lap times is tricky.

          Possibly one example might be Jerez, which was on the 2017 Formula 2 calendar and I think is in the same configuration as it was in 1994. In that instance, Leclerc’s pole time would have put him 13th on the grid in 1994, suggesting that, over a single lap a modern Formula 2 car could potentially match or beat a midfield Formula 1 car from the early to mid 1990’s.

          1. Let me protect myself behind an anon wall.

            1. @peartree, well, unless you really are called “Pennyroyal tea” in real life, you already have a cloak of anonymity and therefore your response makes no sense. Anyway, what exactly about being given factual information has made you want to lash out in this manner?

          2. Very informative, thank You.

            1. @seth-space, I suspected that people would bring up the BMW M12 but, despite all of the myths about it, the hard evidence strongly indicates those engine never did produce that amount of power. In fact, it was the BMW M12 that was supposed to have produced those misleading flash pressure readings at Monza in 1986 and helped start the progressive embellishment of the power output figures of the turbo engines.

              In fact, whilst I do not want to be harsh, most of what is written about the M12 is a load of rubbish, and the author of that blog has made the same mistake of believing the lies that are told about that engine.

              BMW did not take used engine blocks from road cars with 100,000km on the clock, nor did they “season” the blocks by letting them weather outside or urinating on the blocks. They chose brand new blocks straight off the production line, then remachined them and put them through a controlled heat treatment cycle (as part of the initial stages of preparing the engines for use in F1): there is no contemporary evidence for used engine blocks being used at all (the earliest citations all appear years after BMW scrapped the M12).

              There was also a popular legend about the engines supposedly running on a secret Nazi rocket fuel mixture, but again that is utter nonsense – an ex-BASF chemical engineer has confirmed that it was just bog standard toluene, which most of the other turbo engines of the time also ran on, with a small amount of heptane and octane length molecules blended in to help the fuel mixture meet the octane limits.

              I know that Geoff Page, who has a pretty extensive history in motorsport and was the chief mechanica on the Tyrrell 014 (Tyrrell’s first turbocharged car), and now works on restoring engines like the M12, and he’s extremely doubtful about those claims too, saying that he doesn’t believe that components like the crankshaft or block could have withstood the mechanical stresses on them (which was why he thought that 1200bhp was a more credible upper bound figure). I know others have also questioned whether the connecting rods could have sustained the loads that would have been applied to them as well.

              The overall picture points towards the claims of 1500bhp from the M12 being nothing more than stories made up after the demise of the turbo era, before being progressively embellished over the years in the way that a guy might embroider a story he tells when he goes down to the pub with his mates, and then just can’t stop himself from adding to it over time. It makes for a bit of fine entertainment, but it’s nothing more than that.

          3. Mark in Florida
            18th March 2018, 20:00

            It’s not a current series but CanAm cars were faster than the F1 cars and held the speed records on a few tracks. A 1973 Porsche Penske 917/30 made

            1. Mark in Florida
              18th March 2018, 20:10

              Sorry hit the wrong button. The car made 1100 up in race trim and could dyno at 1500. When the car retired it was run at Daytona Speedway. It’s average speed was 221.120 and it hit 250 on the straightaway. Can-Am was the gold standard for brutal horsepower and speed and many F1 drivers participated in the races since Can-Am had large purses.

      2. 70’s possibly. I think its more of an engine deficit.

      3. In 1974 there was a non-championship race in Brasilia, Carlos Reutman in a Brabham BT44 took pole with a lap time of 1.51:18 and in the 2000 season of the South America Formula 3 the poleposition was Vitor Meira in a Dallara F300 with a lap time of 1:48.061.

        During this period the track never saw any alteration, even the tarmac was the same since the inauguration race.

    2. From The Age-article: ”Formula One regulations state engine manufacturers must inform the FIA by May 15 which teams they will supply the following season.” – Well, this particular rule hasn’t really been observed in recent years.

      1. @jerejj i think this is fairly recent rule and it was applied last year just fine from memory

        1. @pyon ”it was applied last year just fine from memory”
          – Not really. The Mclaren-Toro Rosso PU supplier switch took place long after the ‘May 15’ deadline and the same with Toro Rosso’s temporary switch to Ferrari power for 2016, which was confirmed after the preceding season had ended, so to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t say the rule was indeed applied.

          1. @jerejj fair enough but in the example you consider there for TR switch to Honda it is worth setting the context here:
            Renault engine supply: same as before with 3
            Honda engine supply: same as before with 1

            Here we are talking about Renault supplying 2 teams vs 3, so i doubt they will be keen on a late agreement on that. Especially with RedBull whom constantly dragged them in the mud for the last 8 years…

        2. Jere
          This is F1 Mate, you should know better than that. Regulations, especially when they refer to power unit supply, are guidelines, you understand. Subject to amendment and confirmation at anytime with parties involved.

    3. I think the Force India drivers will still be at it this season. Maybe not to the extent of squeezing each other in to walls and throwing away points for the team, as I think they’ve both matured from those experiences, but I expect Canada 2017 kind of races between them. They’ll both be pressurising the team for orders and different strategies to beat each other, and there is no way they would do each other any favours. There will still be a lot of off track tensions between the two.

      1. Just like any other team

      2. Not sure.

        I think of O’Connor can improve his qualifying and get in front of Perez he might drive away from him. If Perez maintains his qualifying edge, yes there’ll be some fireworks.

        Not really any different to any other team, just two relatively passionate drivers which to me makes th8ngs more interesting anyway.

    4. That formula Renault livery at that angle… looks like a banana with wheels.


    5. I cannot get used to FE due to the car swap.
      It’s not like other series did a car swap when running low on fuel. And it discredits the technology behind it, as saying that the car is worthless after you run out of juice.
      Why not get some kind of battery swap. It would probably be cheaper if the cars had been designed with that in the first place.

      1. well good news, next season the new gen batteries will last a whole race and there will no longer be any car swaps. the cars will also be faster, more powerful and they look stunning.

        so one less excuse not to be enjoying the fun, action-packed Formula E championship!

        1. @graham228221 The problem with the new batteries is that they have had to shorten the race length as well to ensure that the cars do indeed last the whole race. I believe it was mentioned in a previous RaceFans article.

          1. @ijw1, you are indeed correct about the races being shortened: they currently run between 48 minutes and 60 minutes, but are now being cut back to “about 40 minutes”.

            In addition to that, the new car is quite a bit heavier than the old one and is horrendously overweight when compared to the original development objective. According to Spark Racing Technology, the minimum weight for the new car was supposed to come down by 40kg when compared to the current car (this article in February 2017 mentions that weight reduction figure ).

            However, instead of losing weight, the new car has gained 42kg over the old car (with around 40kg of that coming from the new battery pack), so the new car is now anticipated to weigh in at 930kg.

            That, of course, assumes that the teams are even able to get down to the minimum weight to begin with – there have been drivers, such as Sam Bird, complaining that they were already having to run with cars over the minimum weight limit in the past.

            When you hear those problems, I can’t help but wonder if the organisers perhaps wanted the cars to look more “radical” than the original concept drawings as a distraction technique from the fact that, on a technical level, the new car has badly missed its objectives.

            1. anon
              I can’t help but feel FE is trying to run before it can walk steadily. Swapping drivers mid race is annoying, but for the fans they are appealing to that seems just fine. The weigh increase though, is not such good news. The cars are not nimble enough now, and certainly not speed merchants. The added weight from the next gen car, aggressive as it may look, could make them slower that the cars they replace. I am assuming of course the power output from the batteries will be bigger, right?

            2. @bonbonjai, you are correct about the increased power output: the batteries will now store 54kWh, up from 28kWh, and changes to the maximum current which can be drawn from the batteries means the peak power output is rising from 200kW to 250kW.

              Part of that has come from improvements in the battery chemistry and packaging, but part of that increase in power has also come from increasing the total number of cells that form the battery (I believe from 165 to 209 cells), which has contributed towards the increase in the total weight of the battery pack.

              Now, the problem was that the organisers knew that the battery pack was almost inevitably going to be heavier than the one that it replaced and therefore had hoped to shave weight off elsewhere to hit their minimum weight objectives. However, it seems that they weren’t able to make weight savings elsewhere on the car to compensate for that, whilst I believe that the cooling system for the batteries had to also be beefed up in order to reduce the long term performance degradation (since the increased power output also means that thermal management becomes more of an issue).

      2. I agree, there’s no reason why they can’t swap batteries during the race. If you had the battery accessed from the side or rear of the car then maybe the time taken could be in the 20 to 30 second range, which isn’t very long. After all we’ve seen drivers pit and replace tyres in F1 races to try and gain the advantage of new tyres and that takes about that length of time.

    6. fearless prediction: they’re not past the conflict stage

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        18th March 2018, 13:23

        Past it until the next conflict.

      2. Maciek (@maciek)
        Agreed. Ocon has too much to prove as the possible payoff of a better car & drive is just to good to miss. He is in the shop window, and has shown potentially how good he could be. He need to have a good season to maintain his stock. Perez’s opportunity has come and gone. There are younger driver on the grid, and F2 with more potential.

    7. Perez is a solid driver who will be around until his mid 30s I would predict. Carlos Slim will keep him in an F1 seat but agreed, his shot at a top seat is gone, Ocon however is in my eyes a future Champion.

      1. At some point he needs to outclass Perez, to get that championship though. There are lots of excellent drivers who never make champion. Ocon needs to stamp his authority mote.

    8. Agree, future greats, Ocon, Gasly, Leclerc, Verstappen.

      1. Gasly?!? Seriously doubt he’ll be anything spectacular. Leclerc, Ocon, Verstappen and Norris for sure… and maybe Vandoorne.

    9. Yeah, “next year we will race without changing cars”. Right, by shortening the race to “about” 40 minutes. They say “about” because they will shorten them AS REQUIRED to allow the cars to finish. Weight has gone UP when it was supposed to go down. And even at that weight, the appendeges on the cars are so fragile as to make the races a destruction derby! As for swapping batteries during the race, I thought I had read earlier that that was considered more dangerous (with the high voltage/energy) than re-fueling a gas powered car.

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        18th March 2018, 22:02

        Hahaha, to make pit stops they ll need hydro workers with rubber boots!

    10. Big year for Ocon. Needs to wipe the floor with Perez especially if hes thinking of a Mercedes drive in the future. Time will tell

    11. Vandoorn? I don’t think so.
      Gasly, not sure.
      Leclerc, we will see this year.
      Ocon, he needs to beat Perez first.
      Verstappen, he is getting better and better. I couldn’t accept his behavior at the beginning, I think I will root for this guy in the future.

    12. Honestly, what will the Force India team-mates do this season?

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