MONZA, Italy — Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon have promised peace after a season full of heated incidents between the drivers.
“We had a talk this morning, just us two. It’s time we move forward and behave as professionals,” Ocon said Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
During last weekend’s Belgian GP, the pair tangled twice on track, causing damage to both of their cars, then had a war of words after the race.
Perez, the more senior driver at age 27, approached Ocon on Thursday.
“I went to Esteban’s room and said, ‘Let’s just move on together and forget the past. A new relationship can start from now on,'” Perez said.
Despite the internal competition — they also collided in Azerbaijan in June — Force India is fourth in the constructors’ standings.
Perez and Ocon sit seventh and eighth in the drivers’ standings, respectively.
Only Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel (12 each) have more finishes in the points this season than Ocon, who still managed to cross ninth in Spa despite his collisions with Perez.
“We are always fighting for the last tenths in qualifying and the race. It’s really close between us,” Ocon said. “But what happened happened. We have to move forward.
Added Perez, “The most important thing is we finish fourth in the constructors. We cannot afford to lose more points.”