Force India Formula One team have threatened their drivers, Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez with a one race ban, after tension reached boiling point at the Belgium Grand Prix when the pair collided dramatically.
The team-mates came together twice during last weekends Belgium Grand Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps, the first of those being on the opening lap.
The second round of contact came in the mid-stages of the race on the run down to Eau Rouge, leaving Ocon with a broken front-wing, and Perez a right rear puncture.
Ocon furiously tweeted post race that his team-mate tried to “kill” him, but Perez later suppressed that allegation.
To disperse the ever heightening tension between the two drivers, the team have made clear that patience is running low and it will not accept further clashes.
Belgium is not the first time this season that the duo have butted heads, having previously come together at the Canadian, Azerbaijan and more recently, the Hungarian Grand Prix’s.
Otmar Szafnauer – Force India’s Chief Operating Officer – already stated that Ocon and Perez would no longer be free to race each other, but has reinforced that saying that they also now risk being dropped for a race, as punishment if there are further problems.
When asked, courtesy of Motorsport.com if Force India would go as far as benching one of the drivers, Szafnauer said: “Yes. If it happens again, we have to figure it out. We would have to start thinking about who we would stick in the car.”
“Yes, I am disappointed that they couldn’t sort it out – and that the team has to now play big brother,” he stated further. “That is disappointing. But the team comes first and that is what we have to do.”
Quotes and images: Motorsport.com