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Sergio Perez: Esteban Ocon needs to understand what racing means

Sergio Perez believes Force India teammate Esteban Ocon needs to "understand what racing means" following their collision at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

As Ocon tried a move on his teammate directly after a Safety Car period in Azerbaijan, the pair came together on the exit of Turn 2, with both drivers suffering damage. Perez was forced into an immediate retirement, while Ocon recovered to finish sixth. The Mexican had previously slammed his teammate following the race in Baku, claiming Ocon had cost Force India a potential win.

Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
"I think simply, Esteban needs to understand what racing means," Perez said ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix. "Racing means just racing another car, not crashing into the other car. I think pretty much all the teammates on the grid are free to race and with the respect to the other car and to the other rival.

"In four years with Nico [Hulkenberg] we never had an issue and we were free to race. We had big battles on track but we were always free to race. I think as long as Esteban understands what racing means then that should be clear.

"I don't know how it is in the lower categories but it was the same to me. You have to respect any other rival, you cannot just crash into the other rival because it will automatically ruin your race. I don't know what has happened, probably just a lack of experience. I don't know exactly what he needs, you need to ask him."

The clash came just weeks after the pair were involved in a controversial scrap for the final podium spot in Canada, in which Force India ultimately missed out on the rostrum to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo after the Silverstone-based outfit refused to resort to using team orders.

Mercedes introduced 'rules of engagement' as oppose to enforcing team orders on its drivers in order to handle a particularly tense intra-team rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg between 2014 and 2016, though Perez does not feel a similar racing strategy needs to be employed at Force India.

"I think more than a rulebook it's just making sure Esteban understands that we are free to race but what racing means," he explained. "If they tell you that you are free to race and you just push your teammate into the wall. I expect him to be intelligent enough to understand what he did wrong and change his attitude a bit for the benefit of team.

"The move was already done -- I don't think we can blame the kerb because we were already in the straight line and we touch on the straight line. He was already ahead of me and he just didn't leave enough room. He already did the move, there was no need for the contact. I don't think you have to be a genius to understand what happened.

"In all my experience that I've had with teammates the competition has been really intense between teammates but never to just unnecessarily crashing into each other. I gave enough room for him to do the manoeuvre. He was already ahead and there was no need at all to ruin our races. At the end of the day it's the team that pay the price."

When asked if it will be easy for him and Ocon to move on from the incident, Perez replied: "You have to move on and look forward. Hopefully this incident will not happen again and hopefully he [will] learn what happened and how much damage he did to the team."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19856282/sergio-perez-esteban-ocon-needs-understand-racing-means

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