Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Force India, Singapore, 2018

Force India prepared to reimpose orders after Perez and Ocon clash again

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Force India could forbid their drivers from racing each other again if there is a further repeat of the collision which put one of their cars out of today’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon retired from the race on lap one after he tangled with team mate Sergio Perez and hit the wall at turn three. Perez insisted he hadn’t seen the team’s other car alongside him.

“It was a very unfortunate incident,” he said. “One of those that is very hard to avoid. As I’m picking up the power I just get a clip from one car. I did not even realise that it was Esteban. And then as I get the message from the team I was very sorry for that.”

Ocon, whose place at the team is believed to be under threat, kept his counsel over the incident.

“I’m not going to comment or analyse what happened,” he said. “I got a great start and had a good opportunity with good grip to go around Checo [Perez] and the next thing I felt was a hit and I was in the wall.

“What I am going to analyse is that we had great pace the whole weekend. It was supposed to be a great weekend for both of us and right now I’m talking and the race is going on and we are going to come out of this with zero points and that’s terrible.”

Perez and Ocon tangled on several occasions during 2017 which led the team to impose orders forbidding them from racing each other. This was later relaxed, but team principal Otmar Szafnauer warned the policy could be reinstated.

“It’s been over a year since it [last] happened,” he told Sky. “It was at Baku last year that we instilled the rules it was at Spa. From Spa until here it hasn’t happened.

“So we’re back to the old rules. We allowed them to race on lap one whereas in the past we didn’t allow them to race on lap one and now we can remove that. And if they continue to do this, even on lap one there’s other ways to separate them which we hope that we don’t ever have to employ.”

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Keith Collantine
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57 comments on “Force India prepared to reimpose orders after Perez and Ocon clash again”

  1. This was Ocon’s last race for them, he said on tv.

    1. If that’s true, it’s a crying shame. I feel they’ve definitely made the wrong driver choice, but it was expected. Now Perez gets an easy ride against mediocre Stroll. IMO, Perez has shown very little development as a driver over the years. He plateaued a long time ago.

      1. As far as I know, nothing’s written in stone yet, though all the rumours say Stroll will be replacing Ocon. But after this weekend’s display it begggars belief that they’re keeping Perez. Checo seems like a nice guy in interviews, but he has serious form on the track as a danger others, he’s had a string of incidents going back a few years. Are they hoping he’ll be less likely to take out the other car on the first lap when it’s driven by the owner’s son?

        I can only assume that they’re desperate for someone with a bit more experience than Ocon.

    2. @osella-alfaromeo For which TV channel? Still, nothing’s officially confirmed, though, so why would he then directly say something like that in public himself.

    3. Can You give a link or confirm the source?

  2. What they need to do is fire the strategist immediately. This person is dreadful every season.

    1. Not sure what (s)he did wrong.
      Ocon’s pit stop strategy? Timing of the drive-through penalty? The oversteer-on-the-straight error on Perez’ car?

      1. @coldfly Ocon’s strategy was horrible. He didn’t comply with the two-compound rule, so he should have been disqualified if he’d finished the race.
        No, they pitted Pérez way too early, even though he had a clear track ahead of him and no pressure from behind. Madness.

        1. Probably did not take into account that Perez on new tyres, would not be able to overtake a Williams on used & harder tyres ;)

          Perez would always have ended up behind the late stoppers.

          1. @coldfly But still, he had to overtake a train of cars to make his strategy work. He would always have been delayed by the traffic.
            It seems Force India pitted Pérez to cover Grosjean’s early stop, but they forgot that he was well ahead, so they could have waited.

          2. Wouldn’t have worked, he was already slower than the cars which were staying out (except Gasly/Magnussen). Thus waiting would not have gotten him in front, @f1infigures.

            It was simply a very poor race by Perez (maybe with some damage from the T3 incident).

  3. Perez deserves a race ban really, he hit Ocon for no reason but got away with that because it happened in turn one, but then he on purpose turned into one of the Williams cars and really wasnt penalised – a drive via pit lane didnt change anything for him. Last time I checked driving into another car on purpose was something you get a race ban for.

    1. I like Ocon but that was a terrible move he made on Perez. I agree Perez did hit Sirotkin.

      1. Ocon’s move on Perez was legitimate. Perez failing to give his teammate room was not. Which was of course compounded by his running into Sirotkin. A poor race from Perez all around.

      2. Terrible move by Ocon??? What a load of nonsense! It was a perfectly legitimate move and there was plenty of room for the move, until Perez decided to put him in the wall. If you actually watch the replays, every single car that followed them through the same corner had another car beside it in exactly the same position Ocon was in. It was a legitimate move that was repeated down the grid.

    2. Perez pushed Ocon into the wall to spook him or worse to deliberately take him out.
      Perez turned on Sirotkin to spook him or worse to deliberately take him out.

      I cannot fathom what was going through his head today.

    3. @flyingbasil Just seen Perez’s shove on Sirotkin as I missed it during the race, insane! Actually had me laughing it was so bizarrely unexpected. Never seen anything like it, well not since Vettel lost it last year at Baku, except he wasn’t actually racing when he swiped Hamilton. Perez has a weirdly aggressive streak in him where he totally loses it for a second. You can’t use your car as a weapon like that in F1, that’s another case where it should have been a disqualification and race ban. Yeah, I get he was annoyed with Sirotkin, but I don’t understand the leniency for these road rage incidents. It’s clear cut.

  4. Checo should get a race ban for the Sirotkin incident.

    1. @john-h Yes, it looked like it could’ve been a deliberate hit from the outside although I highly doubt it but nevertheless, the penalty he got was justified enough, so I don’t see a reason for a race ban anymore.

      1. @jerejj that penalty didnt change anything for perez, and that penalty wasnt justified or explained at all. On the outside it looks ONLY like a deliberate hit, what else does it look like? There was a race ban issued in motoGP just recently and a red bull junior was banned for a year for a deliberate crash. Perez\Sirotkin crash clearly deserved way more detailed investigation, but then Sirotkin is Russian, so he is a bad guy no matter what.

  5. Team order “racing bans” are all well and good in the middle of a GP but how does that stop incidents in the unpredictable heat of turn 1? It won’t.

  6. Not necessary, and team orders wouldn’t have prevented that incident anyway. You can’t have drivers backing out and making a special effort to not overtake one specific car at an opening corner sequence like that one…

  7. Perez blatantly swerved into Sirot out of anger. Not seen driving that disgusting for many years. Needs at least a ban!

  8. Perez opened his steer against Ocon and steered into Sirotkin

    He got lucky wij only one drive through penalty imho

  9. I thought Ocon was silly at the start, not the first time he’s tried to win the race in the first lap and come unstuck. However Perez should get a race ban for what he did to Sirotkin, that was the most deliberate crash we’ve seem for years.

    1. @tflb Well, since Baku last year.

      1. @david-br Perez was worse I’d say as it was a much harder hit at full racing speed.

        1. @tflb Definitely, even more slam-dunk race ban. It’s difficult to see the proportion when Verstappen gets 5 seconds for pushing Bottas a few centimetres too wide in hard but fair racing, while Perez gets a drive through for throwing his car deliberately at Sirotkin, causing damage. I also suspect he did see Ocon perfectly well when he shut him out at the start.

          1. Not leaving the required car width after defending is fair, I suppose.

  10. The first crash was pure racing (point) incident but the latter one with Sirotkin seemed odd.

  11. I really hope Ocon finds a drive with a good team that actually knows what the heck they’re doing.

  12. Perez today was really pathetic. You can’t expect that from a guy with 150 Grand Prix on his back.
    The team had solid chances of scoring a pretty good bunch of points today.
    Got zero. All because of him.


  13. I’m done with this team. The very worst part of Sergio Pérez is me.

  14. Lets see if Perez does that to Lance Stroll.
    Carlos Slim or Fat, he’s out of that team.

  15. Both incidents were deliberate imho as he made an unnecessary steering movements into both Ocon and Sirotkin.

    A DT was too lenient. Should have been a 10s S&G or exclusion from the race imho.

  16. I honestly can’t see what Ocon did wrong. He was wheel to wheel with Perez inside the track. How can Perez claim that he didn’t see him? He also had plenty of room to his left.

    1. I agree. Perez caused the incident, not seeing Ocon (which I frankly don’t believe given Perez’s mad driving later in the race) isn’t an excuse. He should have been penalized and next time someone’s taking that corner at the start, they pay more attention. Ocon as you said did nothing wrong – there was track for him to try to overtake.

  17. Perez is driving like Maldonado did: with little regard because someone else paying the bills (Slim, just like PDVSA did for Pastor). He knows the budget he brings makes him an attractive prospect to the poorer teams. I wonder if that approach will continue to work for him now that the team has Stroll dollars at their disposal. It shouldn’t be too difficult for Checo to see off Lance, but if he doesn’t he might have to take his Telmex money someplace else.

    1. Perez is the combination of money and talent. He had a bad weekend but he has been fantastic many times with a few podiums. Ocon is without a seat because he has talent but no money. That’s how F1 is now.

      1. You are absolutely spot on, Perez is usually pretty good and so is Ocon. The Ocon situation is so pathetic it has me thinking about tuning out of F1 if he can’t get a drive. He’s a pure talent.

  18. Coulthard and Webber both said Perez was in the wrong in both incidents….What I thought he did with ocon was to try and edge him over so he would come off the throttle….he got that wrong….and with Sirotkin..I think Perez boiled over with frustration…and not for the first time either…..and I say this as an admirer of Sergio not a hater

  19. Didn’t they say the same thing the last time those two hit each other?

  20. Ocon is a very promising driver, but everytime he is close to Perez he tries do pull this heroic overtakes that need god-like skills, a Londom bus could fit in that gap and somehow he managed to crash into Perez. He could have easily backed off, that gap was going to disappear either way. Poor judgement.

    1. Exactly, he put himself and Perez in a risky situation.

      Anyway Sirotkin would’ve ruined Ocon’s race as well. All those that started 7-10 got screwed with overly robust defending because he had no real competition to lose time to by driving that way.

    2. that’s exactly what i think, dont know why people think perez should had left more space, there wasnt any space. Why always perez gets the bad press, he has a 3rd in azer and a 5th in spa and nowhere i saw praise for him, its always ocon.

      1. EVERY SINGLE CAR that came through that corner after them were ALL side by side in the same formation, yet none of them crashed. Perez is a moron.

        1. There was gro and perez already using it and then ocon join from behind hoping to win in the 1st lap as usual, only detail is that this time he did crash with his team mate.
          Seriously Ocon has many crashes this season that end up putting him in the wall again and again, is never his fault so he never learns, only issue this time was with his team mate and no team will want that.

    3. Jonathan Edwards
      16th September 2018, 23:09

      That’s really how you see it? That gap disappeared because Perez decided to stop steering to the left. Being a fan of a driver doesn’t mean you have to defend everything they do. Perez was clearly at fault, and if you can’t admit that, you should refrain from ever commenting on him again, as you’re biased beyond reason.

      1. Just because I’ve a different opinion than yours doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the other driver.

        there was plenty of space even when they touched, Ocon decided to come on the outside at the start, he has experience to know better and know when to back off.

        Perez opens the wheel because we was finishing the turn, did you want him to keep steering to the left?

        see the onboard

        If you can’t accept opinions that differ from yours, and can’t acknowledge them, you should regrain from ever commenting on forums like this again, as you’re thick beyond reason

  21. Perez deserves a ban for deliberately turning into Sirotkin. You could clearly see it was done in frustration and anger as he thought he wasn’t going to make it past him.

  22. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    17th September 2018, 2:53

    What a strange race from Checo today – really weird. I think he showed his frustration with Ocon over the past 2 seasons on the track today by literally shoving him into the wall and then pretending he didn’t know he was there.

    Of course, he knew exactly where Ocon was and what he was doing.

    Shame for Force India to lose the points and a shame to see Perez resort to such tactics. If Singapore were Ocon’s last race at Force India, it’ll be a real shame to see him exit Force India in such a terrible manner.

    Tensions are obviously extremely high at Force India and Ocon was very composed in his post-race interviews.

    1. Perhaps Perez is upset Ferrari once again passed him by and promoted LEC.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        17th September 2018, 14:39

        Ocon’s performance at Force India has pretty much ended any aspirations that Checo may have had to join a top team. Perez, however, has only himself to blame for not outperforming Ocon.

        The same thing has happened to Grosjean and even worse to Hulkenberg – the VJM08b saved Perez’s career and it’s amazing that Hulk was able to overcome the deficit and join Renault – that recovery I think caught Prost’s expert eye and got him the seat at Renault.

        It’s overlooked on this forum but I have never seen a driver be able to overcome a deficit like Hulk has at Force India with the switch from the VJM08a to the VJM08b.

        1. So what do you make of Perez that put that car on the podium when Hulk could not?

  23. The good news is FI got 0 points for this race which makes it more likely they’ll keep Ocon for at least 1 more race. Maximising points to get the best possible position on the constructors table is probably the one lever that Otmar has to keep Stroll out of the car but if they’d scored a bucketload at this race, they may have gotten to a point where getting more will mak no difference.

    This may ultimately be a good outcome for Ocon. Qualified well, being seen to be driving well and getting to do it all over again at the next race.

    1. mmh Ocon qualified behind Perez and cause a collision with his eagerness, he has no patience and can’t stand Perez is always ahead of him.

  24. These stewards again. What a underperformance once again. Clear black flag situation for Perez as they also missed Vettel in Baku. Apparently anything goes.

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