Sergio Perez says that his relationship with Esteban Ocon was "never great" throughout their two years together at Force India. Ocon joined the Silverstone outfit in 2017, replacing Nico Hulkenberg who left for Renault.
Their maiden year as teammates was a tough one, with the pair coming together on track a number of times. Tensions started to rise in Canada of 2017, where Perez refused to let Ocon by for a chance to attack Ricciardo for a podium finish.
Later in the season, they made contact in Baku, before coming together twice at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. Earlier this year in Singapore, the two clashed on the opening lap in Singapore, sending Ocon into the barrier and out of the race.
Ocon has now left Force India, having been replaced by Lance Stroll. When asked what the relationship was like with the Frenchman over the past two years, Perez replied: "To be honest it was never great, the greatest one.
“We are both very professional, we don’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.
“I’ve had it before, with Hulkenberg. 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. There are drivers that cannot separate what is racing and outside of the car. Everyone is different.”
Speaking about his new teammate Stroll, Perez said: "I don’t know him much as a driver. In Formula 1, it’s so difficult to prepare, to know a driver from another team. 95 percent of your results is done by the car. He’s certainly had a poor season down to his car. I think Williams had a lot of trouble.
“But the kid definitely has talent. He’s been on the podium, when it’s wet, he’s always up there, and 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.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing