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Ocon: Force India atmosphere alongside Perez was 'not good'

  • Published on 17 Feb 2020 12:24
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Esteban Ocon concedes the atmosphere within the Force India team was not enjoyable when he was partnered with Sergio Perez for two seasons.

Ocon joined the Silverstone-based squad in 2017 and had a number of run-ins with Perez while they were teammates.

Following team order friction at the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, the duo made contact in Azerbaijan, Hungary and Belgium before coming together again at the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. 

“What happened at Force India is not something I want to redo again,” he said, as quoted by Formula1.com. “It was not a nice atmosphere. We had respect - me and Checo - and it didn’t slow down the team or anything but the atmosphere between us was not so good."

Ocon returns to the grid in 2020 with Renault and will pair up with Daniel Ricciardo, who enters his second year with the team.

The Frenchman is confident that he will not repeat his Force India relationship with Perez at Renault alongside Ricciardo.

"On track we came close too many times, that was clear, and that was not good," Ocon said. "It’s not something I want to do again. The atmosphere is definitely a lot better between me and Daniel than it was with Checo.

“So if we can keep working like that, even though it’s going to be different on track, it’s going to be a lot better for everyone to have a positive energy and a great working environment.

"Hopefully we’re going to be solid on that topic and be able to push the team forward. But no, we don’t want to have that happening. Of course it can always happen at the start or something, but in a race like it happened it was not acceptable.”

Ricciardo affirmed that he is focused on delivering Renault strong results and helping it make progress up the F1 pecking order, which he states is also the goal of Ocon.

“I have every intention of building something positive, he said. "On Sundays we're going to race it out and maybe we'll bang wheels at some point, but it's I think our best intention to try to get this team in a good place before they start losing energy focused on managing us you know they need to manage a better race car.”

Replies (6)

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  • f1ski

    Posts: 600

    pretty immature comment. hopefully he has learned from being sat for a while. My gut says no

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2020 - 13:28
    • Snooky

      Posts: 12

      Not sure what’s immature about it? Unnecessary I’d say, but not Immature. It was evident for everyone to see, they clashed on track a lot, it makes sense it would transfer into the team as well. Just don’t think it needed to be said as it was plain to see, Checo has a history of this so harsh to put it onto Ocon

      • + 1
      • Feb 17 2020 - 14:26
  • I don't necessarily think it was either unnecessary or immature. I've seen certain drivers make even worse comments and be excused for it. As for "The atmosphere is definitely a lot better between me and Daniel than it was with Checo."... 's because nothing's happened yet, Ocon dear. The season hasn't even begun, of course it's pretty rosy (another type than the oil burning roses kind) right now!

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2020 - 16:59
    • Snooky

      Posts: 12

      The only reason I found it unnecessary was because everyone already knew what he said was the case. Luckily for Renault Daniel seems easy to get on with where as Perez has a history of fighting team mates strongly. I think it’ll be a great paring, mainly I think because Daniel will act better in a fight for position against Ocon than he’s been used to.

      • + 0
      • Feb 17 2020 - 19:15
    • True, we did, but I found his wording of it interesting. Whether it was down to Perez or Ocon, is up for debate, but I feel this represent the kinda "personality" many long for from the F1 drivers. At any rate, Ric will be yet another renowned name Ocon can learn from and measure up against. If it's favourable, things might not look too good for Bottas, if not.. Maybe Merc' will thin out their list of supported drivers again.

      • + 0
      • Feb 17 2020 - 20:12
    • Esteban could have gone the entire event without making reference to Checo, I don't think projecting an image of sour grapes helps anyone. It certainly doesn't make him or Checo look good.
      That being said, I agree he will get along well with Daniel for two simple reasons:
      1. Daniel is by all accounts, a very easy-going guy, even when things are seriously competitive he keeps his cool
      2. Ocon is not going to be as close to Daniel as he was to Checo, so they won't be competing very often for the same position on the same strategy. Daniel is a beast, on par with ANYONE on the grid. Ocon is a second tier driver. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly concede and it would be amazing for Ocon, but I just don't see it.

      • + 0
      • Feb 17 2020 - 21:28

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