Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon both held responsible for Baku collision

Frenchman Ocon has said that Force India have held him and team-mate Perez collectively responsible for their Baku incident, as Perez calls for Ocon to be "intelligent."

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon both held responsible for Baku collision
Perez's refusal to move aside in Canada contributed to the Baku collision with Ocon. (Image Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Esteban Ocon has said that his Force India Formula 1 team have held both him and team-mate Segio Perez responsible for their collision during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. 

Frenchman Ocon, in his first season with the Silverstone based outfit, and Mexican Perez made contact at Turn 2 in Baku after a safety car restart, giving Ocon a puncture and Perez ultimately fatal damage to his VJM10. 

In Austria, speaking to Motorsport.comOcon said: "After the race, I took a plane to Silverstone to review the incident with the team. They prepared some notes with what they thought and we came to the conclusion that it was a 50-50.

"It was not only my fault, not only Sergio's fault, but it was both our fault."

The collision in Baku came after tensions rose in the previous race in Canada, after Perez ignored a team order to allow the faster Ocon through to attack third place driver Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. 

After the two incidents on-track, that arguably cost the team a podium or better in each, Ocon insisted that the two were cordial, pointing toward a sponsor event that the two attended.

Perez says Ocon must "be intelligent", but the Frenchman "won't change my attitude." (Image Credit: Sutton Images)
Perez says Ocon must "be intelligent", but the Frenchman "won't change my attitude." (Image Credit: Sutton Images)

Perez says Ocon must be intelligent

Speaking to Autosport, Perez had earlier said that "I expect him to be intelligent enough to understand what he did wrong and change his attitude a bit for the benefit of the team.

"If the team tell you you are free to race, but you just push your team-mate in the wall, then that is not the right way forward."

Comparing the situation with Ocon to that of former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Perez said: "Racing just means racing another car, not crashing into the other car. In four years with Nico, we never had an issue and were free to race."

In respones to that comment, Ocon was firm in saying that he "would not change my attitude, and the only thing I think we will change is just to be careful on what we do when we race. 

"I will take more experience and feel more comfortable on tracks I know" concluded the Frenchman, whose best result this season is fifth, in Barcelona. 

Why it is crucial Force India cut out the mistakes

Force India are in a battle for fourth, once again, in the constructor standings, and must capitalise on races like Azerbaijan to have any hope of pipping Williams to fourth. 

Lance Stroll claimed a podium in Baku, at Force India's expense, and it is possible, had Perez and Ocon not collided, they could have won the race 1-2 given Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel's various crimes and bad-luck. 

Otmar Szafnauer, Bob Fernley and team owner Vijay Mallaya will keep the situation under control, but they know that Azerbaijan must be a one-off or the team's hard work could all go to waste.


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