Motorsport

Sparring Force India duo agree truce

2017-08-31 18:01
Sergio Perez (Gallo Images)

Monza - Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon on Thursday admitted they had let their team down with their frequent crashes and clashes - and promised to behave better in future.

The duelling duo, who crashed twice at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix where Frenchman Ocon ended up accusing his Mexican team-mate of endangering his life with reckless driving, said there would be no repetition of such incidents.

"I think we both crossed the line," said the French rookie, who has impressed with his speed and his forthright style this year. "That is for sure. We touched, so something was wrong in there.

"I won't argue because it is all behind us now and we want to move forward. We crossed the line and we cannot do that in the future for the purpose of the team and for us."

Perez said he had taken the initiative to "bury the hatchet" on Thursday morning and felt it was imperative for the sake of their partnership and the future.

He denied he had considered leaving the team to escape the escalating level of their ultra-competitive rivalry.

"We both know that we have done wrong in the past for this team and my main target is not thinking to run away," he said.

"I think working with Esteban is still possible. It can be a successful partnership and I am not thinking of moving elsewhere."

Ocon added: "We have to move forward. We had a talk this morning - just us two - and it is time that we forget all that... That we work hard for the team.

"That is what is important and that is what they deserve -- that we behave as professionals and we want to keep challenging the others, keep pushing them and keep that fourth place to the end."

The pair met at the team motor home in the Monza paddock on Thursday morning and then rode a lap of the circuit together on bicycles.

"I went to Esteban's room and I had a talk with him," Perez said. "The engineers had their view - it was pointless going through each incident, as everyone has their point to say, so we said let's just move on together.

"Let's forget the past and go forwards together.

"I believe a new relationship can start from now on and I hope from now on we can start working as a team and put the interests of the team first.

Ocon added that he hoped the team might reconsider its decision to impose team orders on them following last weekend's final collision.

"We have to get the bosses' trust back and then maybe they will let us race again," he said.

Perez added: "What we cannot afford is to lose more points. Things change really quickly in F1. We see other teams are closing up so we definitely need to score...

"We have to make sure we score as many points as we possibly can. That is for the good of the team. Everyone works so hard at the team and factory."

Read more on:    force india  |  f1  |  sergio perez  |  motorsport
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