Force India’s Esteban Ocon says he and team-mate Sergio Perez can reach “greater levels of success together” – despite accusing the Mexican of trying to kill him at the Belgian Grand Prix.The two collided after Perez squeezed Frenchman Ocon towards a wall at more than 180mph.Ocon later said on social media: “We were having a good race until Perez tried to kill me two times.”
On Monday, Ocon tweeted: “I was upset. We want to work better together.”
The incident on lap 29 was the second time the team-mates had collided at Spa, and was the latest in a series of incidents between the two this year following Ocon’s arrival.Perez, who failed to finish the race, apologised for the first collision but added: “The second one I think Esteban was too optimistic. There was no need to touch there.”Ocon, who finished the race ninth, said: “I’m committed to the success of Force India, and I’m confident that as a team we will put this behind us to reach even greater levels of success together.”We have a big challenge ahead with keeping fourth place [in the constructors’ table], and nothing will distract us from that goal.”In the heat of the moment and given the dangerous situation, I was very much upset.”But we will be moving forward, we are a team, and I appreciate my team-mate apologising.”Perez is seventh in the drivers’ standings – nine points and one place above Ocon.Analysis – ‘Olive branch to resolve difficult situation’BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew BensonEsteban Ocon’s statement on Monday morning will be interpreted as an attempt to extend an olive branch to resolve a difficult situation.The Frenchman refers to an apology from Perez – but both immediately after the race and in a later video message on Twitter the Mexican has apologised only for the first of the two incidents between the drivers.In this, Perez says in a series of circumstances in the chaos of the first lap, exacerbated by being in the wrong engine mode, he did not see or expect Ocon to be on his inside on the run down the hill to Eau Rouge, where the two touched and Ocon hit the wall, without incurring damage.Perez has not apologised for the second incident later in the race – similar other than that they were alone – which damaged Ocon’s front wing and gave Perez a puncture.The team were furious because this was only the latest in a series of incidents between the two and they are worried the line-up is becoming untenable.Force India have said they will impose team orders to ensure it does not happen again. Perez has said he believes the drivers can sort it out between themselves and Ocon’s message is clearly an attempt to show he can be relied upon to play ball.As such, it will calm everything down ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, but the attempt at harmony will be properly tested only when they are next on track alongside each other.
Source: BBC Featured