Belgian Grand Prix: Esteban Ocon says team-mate 'risked our lives'

Esteban Ocon
Ocon was rated the fifth most impressive driver of the season in a BBC poll during the summer break

Force India's Esteban Ocon said team-mate Sergio Perez "risked our lives" in an incident in which they collided in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Perez squeezed Ocon towards a wall at more than 180mph as the Frenchman was trying to pass the Mexican.

The two collided, damaging Ocon's front wing and giving Perez a puncture.

Ocon said: "He is supposed to be a professional with a lot of experience but he hasn't shown it. I will speak to Sergio. I am furious."

The incident on lap 29 was the second time the two had collided in the race and also the latest in a series of incidents between the two this year following Ocon's arrival in the team.

Sergio Perez
Perez eventually retired, as Ocon finished ninth

The first incident was very similar but happened in the same place on the first lap, although Ocon actually hit the wall this time and the two cars got away without damage. It was influenced by the fact Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was on their outside.

"Just a stupid race," Ocon said. "The first incident I accepted even if I think he saw me. It is at the start, we are three wide, maybe it can happen.

"But the second one was one too much. He risked our lives in there and he costs points to the team.

"I am always very calm but we have lost a lot of points for the team and I can understand the team is very unhappy with this and if they don't let us race in the future I think this would be normal because every time we can race something happens.

"(In the last race) in Hungary he touched me, he broke my car. I didn't say anything. Here again, same story, so this has to end and I will go speak to him man to man."

Perez said: "First-lap incident was 100% my fault. I didn't have the the right engine mode selected so I had 50% of the power.

"My incident. The second one I think Esteban was too optimistic. There was no need to touch there. He could have lifted and then we could carry on."

Perez said he felt there was no need to impose team orders, but Force India have decided that is what they will do from now on.

Esteban Ocon's tweet about the collision at Spa-Francorchamps
Esteban Ocon's tweet about the collision at Spa-Francorchamps

Team boss Vijay Mallya said: "As much as I support competitive racing, the repeated incidents between both our cars are now becoming very concerning.

"Under these circumstances I have no choice but to implement a policy of team orders in the interest of safety and to protect the team's position in the constructors' championship."

Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said: "We can't afford it to happen more so in the future we will do some things differently so the team controls what happens out on the track.

"We will have to put some more rules in place and take the situation in our control. we will make sure it doesn't happen again."

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