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Ocon got Perez apology but team orders await at Force India

Written by  Sep 20, 2018

Esteban Ocon reveals he did receive an apology from teammate Sergio Perez after the two Force India's collided at the start of the Singapore GP.

The Frenchman was looking to make a bold move around the outside of his fellow pink panther at Turn 3 on the opening lap before he was punted into the wall by Perez ending his race.

“He apologised to me, in the room he said he apologised,” Ocon told Motorsport.com. “But it’s not because of that that everything’s gone.

“The only thing I look at at the moment is that we come home with no points on a weekend where we should have been both in the points, getting strong results.

“We had the pace for it and yeah, it’s a terrible situation to be where we are now. That’s all I can say, there’s nothing else to comment about."

Though the stewards declared it a racing incident between the pair, Force India boss Otmar Szafnauer appeared to put blame solely on the Mexican.

“It’s unacceptable for them to come together like that in an area where there’s no run-off room,” he told Sky Sports. “If it’s your teammate, you’ve got to give them room."

His response to the incident was immediate too, reinstating the team orders from the end of last year.

“We’re back to the old rules,” he added. The team is more important than one individual. If that’s what they’re going to do, we’ll have to take control from here.

“We allowed them to race on Lap 1 whereas in the past we didn’t let them race on Lap 1 and now we can remove that.”

Ocon, who may not make it to the end of the season with Force India anyway, denies this could be the start of another tetchy period between himself and Perez after the pair collided several times in 2017.

“No, it’s not the same situation as last year,” he said, “we’ve turned the page from there and that’s it really.”

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