Force India suggests Ocon "needs to learn" from Baku clash

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Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer has blamed Esteban Ocon's lack of experience for the recent flare-ups between himself and team-mate Sergio Perez at the last two Grands Prix.

In Canada, the Frenchman was felt hard done by after a decision not to ask Perez to let him by potentially cost him a first Formula 1 podium, then at the last race in Baku, the two drivers collided as Ocon squeezed the Mexican against the wall exiting Turn 2 dropping both down the order and ending hopes of another potential top three finish.

Both drivers have since been told the team "comes first" in a meeting to discuss what occurred but Szafnauer's comments are the most critical of the former European Formula 3 champion since he joined Force India.

"I don't think we had trouble in Canada, it was nothing to do with the drivers," he said initially.

"But in Baku definitely, I just think Esteban needs a bit more experience.

"He is young, he hasn't done a lot of F1 races and every time this kind of thing happens you learn, so he just needs to learn it is that simple."

Certainly, the 20-year-old, who has scored at seven of eight races so far and is yet to complete his full season in F1 having joined Manor at the Belgian Grand Prix last year, is keen to move on.

"It's necessary to focus on the future rather than the past. We have discussed everything so it will not happen again," he commented.

As is the case for Williams rookie Lance Stroll, this weekend's race at the Red Bull Ring is a rare occasion for Ocon as he goes to a circuit he has prior experience on.

"I drove there a lot in the junior categories and I tested for Sahara Force India there in 2015. It’s a great place and the altitude makes it a challenge for the engine and the brakes," he said.

"The circuit doesn’t have many corners, but it’s still difficult to get a perfect lap.

"In particular, the last two corners are the most enjoyable in the track because they’re quite tricky and even a small mistake can ruin a good lap right at the end.

"There is no real secret to finding time around the lap; you just have to get the details right and make it stick all weekend."

 

 

 

 

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