Esteban Ocon says he has received death threats on social media

Esteban Ocon says he has been receiving death threats on social media since his collisions with Force India Formula 1 team-mate Sergio Perez earlier in the 2017 season.



Esteban Ocon says he has received death threats on social media

Perez and Ocon were banned from racing each other by their F1 team after multiple incidents in the middle of the year, including collisions in both the Azerbaijan and Belgian Grands Prix.



Ocon said he had been pleasantly surprised by the positive welcome he had received from Perez's home fans in Mexico this week, given the level of social media vitriol towards him.



"I was expecting a bit of a tough welcome this week, looking at all the Twitter messages I received, which was crazy - and all the death messages as well," said Ocon.



"But actually I had a very warm welcome from the beginning. Let's see if it continues. I hope it will."



Ocon said he had received "many" such messages and that they had been continual since his collision with Perez in Baku in June.



"I think the last one was yesterday," he said. 

"But apart from Twitter, in the real world everyone welcomed me very well and they are pushing for the team as well, not only Checo [Perez]."



Asked if the messages had been unsettling, Ocon replied: "It's never great to receive things like that, but it's all fine at the moment, so I hope it stays like that."



When asked if he had taken the threats seriously, Ocon replied: "It was messages on social media. I don't know if you take that seriously or not."

Ocon said he and Perez had not yet been informed whether the ban on racing each other would remain for Mexico, but he does not expect any policy change until Force India has wrapped up fourth in the constructors' championship.



"I think once we are totally secure and it's mathematically impossible for Williams to overtake us then we'll start to race again," he said. "But I don't think this weekend it's going to happen."



Force India is currently 91 points clear of Williams with 129 still available over the remaining three races.



Ocon's sixth-place finishes in the last two races have brought him to within 13 points of Perez's seventh position in the drivers' championship.

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