Force India F1 team to speak to drivers after Azerbaijan collision

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will be told by Force India Formula 1 bosses that collisions like their Baku clash are "unacceptable" after missing the chance of a podium finish

Force India F1 team to speak to drivers after Azerbaijan collision

Perez and Ocon were fighting for a potential podium spot during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when they clashed at the tricky Turn 2 left-hander on the second safety car restart.

Ocon suffered a puncture, broken brake duct, T-wing and floor but was able to continue after a pit stop, while Perez was initially retired from the race with a broken track rod.

His car was repaired under a red flag and he rejoined a lap down, but later returned to the garage with a broken seat.

Although Ocon was able to recover to finish sixth, team bosses were still unhappy at the opportunity that had slipped through their fingers - with the pair having run ahead of eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo before their clash.

"The worst thing you can do is hit your team-mate because it gives other teams opportunities that they really shouldn't have had," said Force India COO Szafnauer.

"It is pretty tricky too because it is a street circuit, and anywhere else Checo would have been able to move over a bit and they would have been fine.

"But there is a wall there.

"We will definitely review it in a professional manner, talk to the drivers and say this is unacceptable.

"We cannot be running into each other.

"It's bad enough if you run into a competitor because that can damage your race, but not your team-mate because that can take you both out.

"They understand that. They are intelligent guys."

Asked how he judged the incident, Szafnauer added: "It's 50/50, 55/45, I have to review it some more.

"But Checo didn't get the start he should have, Esteban got a better restart and then didn't give him enough room..."

Szafnauer did however played down Perez's suggestion that Force India was in a position to win the race.

"I don't think so," he said of any victory chances.

"I thought so [at the time], but I don't think so now.

"[Seb] Vettel got his penalty due to that restart, so we would have beaten him.

"And [Daniel] Ricciardo, we would have beaten him.

"But without us causing the red flag, Hamilton's headrest wouldn't have come up, so he would have won it.

"We still would have been second or third."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Jonathan Noble
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