Perez and Ocon put controversies to bed

Lester Mason
September 1, 2017

Sebastian Vettel jokingly acted as a peacemaker on Thursday as Force India's Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez faced the media together in the wake of their fall out at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The drivers collided twice at Spa-Francorchamps when, on both occasions, Perez squeezed Ocon into the wall on the run down the hill towards Eau Rouge. "That's what the team deserves".

"I won't argue because it is all behind us now and we want to move forward", added Ocon. Vettel, the championship leader, was the driver positioned between them.

"We had a talk this morning, just us two".

Asked about Force India's change of approach, Perez replied: "I think we have both matured enough".

Fernley insists that the drivers are still allowed to race, but they have to me more respectful of each other and the team's position.

In light of the team's decision post-Belgium to deny the pair the right to race one another, Ocon said: "We have to get the bosses' trust back, and then maybe they will let us race again". Working with Esteban is still possible.

He played down the likelihood of Force India suspending either driver.

"We'll deal with what we need to deal with as and when, but I don't think there will need to be anything as draconian as that". It is time that we forget all of that and we work hard for the team.

Perez and Ocon sit seventh and eighth in the drivers' standings, respectively.

"I don't know [if we'll drive together next year]". "We're always fighting for the last tenth in qualifying or the race".

"We don't want to in any way dilute that".

"About next year I don't know - at the moment I'm focusing on racing, doing my job and making the team happy".

Perez said: "I went to Esteban's room". From our point of view it's a nice problem to have, it shows we're pushing that front end. "Although there will be some instructions coming up for us, I think we will put everything in place to make sure that the interests of the team come first before us".

Ocon is fully aware there cannot be a repeat of Spa and expressed hope that he and Perez could soon prove to the team's management that they can race cleanly. "And from their point of view they need to make sure they keep their reputations intact, because there's a future for them beyond Force India, for both of them". "We touched so obviously something was wrong in there". "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 think we both crossed the line, that's for sure", said Ocon, agreeing that they needed to put the team first. Things change really quickly in F1 and we see teams closing up on pace.

"What we can not afford is to lose more points", admitted the Mexican.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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