Force India tells drivers to hinder F1 rivals instead of each other

Force India has told Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez to avoid first lap incidents with each other - and advised them to compromise a rival instead, if they find themselves with a choice

Force India tells drivers to hinder F1 rivals instead of each other

Memories of last year's controversial collisions between the pair were revived in China when Perez went off on the first lap after a brush with Nico Hulkenberg. Ocon was delayed in the aftermath, although they didn't make contact.

"The first lap and especially the start is very, very difficult to manage," team COO Otmar Szafnauer told Sky Sports.

"All sorts of variable are out of your control, including Hulkenberg running you wide onto a surface that doesn't have the same grip, and then you come back in front of your team-mate.

"It was a bit unfortunate for us that that happened, but it's very difficult for us to control a start or first lap incident.

"We just have to focus on telling the drivers that if it's a choice of running a competitor off or your team-mate, you always take the competitor.

"I've had some experience in competitive racing too, and it's really hard, because they are split second decisions that you make.

"If you know what's behind you and you've got a choice in that split second, 'choose a competitor and not your team-mate' is what we said, and they both understand that.

"In the future that will be going through their minds at the start, but it's really difficult."

'The car we should have had in testing'

Meanwhile Force India has shown much improved performance in Baku free practice, with both drivers in the top five in FP1. Szafnauer said that the team now has the package it should have had in testing.

"First and foremost we had to get all the components on the car that we'd designed and developed in the wind tunnel, and once that happened then we had a good understanding of what the car was like," he said.

"Like always you get real world feedback from the drivers and data you collect at the track, not just windtunnel or CFD.

"You correlate to what you think you have and then start making changes, and that's a process we go through over and over to develop this car into the competitive car that it needs to be.

"It wasn't available in winter testing like it would have been for most teams, so we had to drip feed it in.

"The car we have here today is the car we should have had in winter testing, now we're learning and developing from here forward."

shares
comments
Valtteri Bottas considers taking more risks in Formula 1 battles

Previous article

Valtteri Bottas considers taking more risks in Formula 1 battles

Next article

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Ricciardo leads Raikkonen in Baku practice

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Ricciardo leads Raikkonen in Baku practice
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Adam Cooper
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021