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Perez admits Ocon relationship 'was never great'

Written by  Dec 02, 2018

Sergio Perez has offered an insight into his often fractious partnership with Esteban Ocon at Force India.

The Frenchman joined the Silverstone-based squad in 2017 and the pair always brought the best from each other as they were often separated by just a few thousandths of a second in qualifying.

That did translate into a number of on-track incidents, however, notably Canada, Baku and Belgium last year and again in Singapore in 2018 resulting in Force India introducing team orders.

“To be honest it was never great, the greatest one,” Perez said of his relationship with Ocon.

"We didn’t spend a lot of time out of the car, so it was quite very flat. I’ll say that with my past teammates, there was more of an outside relationship.

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“There are drivers that cannot separate what is racing and outside of the car. Everyone is different.”

The Mexican does think that could change now Esteban has left the team, pointing to a similar situation he had with the 22-year-old's predecessor.

“I’ve had it before, with [Nico] Hulkenberg," He said. "It’s always hard, we are so competitive, and also when you are not teammates anymore, the relationship all of a sudden gets a bit better. It depends."

Looking forward to 2019, Perez will have Lance Stroll across the garage and there could be the potential for fireworks given the Canadian's father Lawrence is the new Force India owner.

As it stands right now though, the 28-year-old concedes he is a bit of an unknown quantity.

“I don’t know him much as a driver," he commented. "In Formula 1, it’s so difficult to prepare, to know a driver from another team, but the kid definitely has talent. He’s been on the podium. When it’s wet, he’s always up there.

"He’s certainly had a poor season down to his car. I think Williams had a lot of trouble," Checo added.

"I think he’s coming to a great team with one of the best engineers in the world, I think he will be in great hands to deliver his full potential."

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