The Sahara Force India F1 Team gained eight points from the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix but a mid-race clash between their two drivers cost the team potential podium finishes.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon ran comfortably in the points following a chaotic start to the race and two safety car periods but the second restart saw Perez and Ocon collide on the exit of turn two.
Ocon continued whereas Perez retired to the pit-lane courtesy of the damage sustained in the clash. Perez would re-join the race during a red flag period – where he then incurred a penalty for having work performed on the car in the garage – but would eventually retire for good before the race’s conclusion with a broken seat.
Ocon meanwhile, held third position with just 13 laps to go but was swallowed up by the faster Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
Ocon wishes to review the situation surrounding his clash with his team-mate but was pleased to score more good points towards his championship campaign. “It’s hard to sum up your feelings after such a busy race. I’m happy with our performance and also disappointed not to realise the potential we had today.
“It’s never nice to have an incident with your teammate and it was costly for both of us – we both lost a lot of time and positions. Fortunately I could recover, overtake a lot of cars and score some important points for the team.
“We will discuss things internally and see what happened, but when you are racing close to each other at a restart these things can happen sometimes. Sergio was very deep into turn one at the restart and I went on his inside. He squeezed me between turns one and two, and I was on the inside going into turn two.
“He was trying to resist on the outside of the corner and we touched. We need to review it together and understand more. For sure it should not happen again in the future.”
Sergio Perez however, lays the blame for the coming together firmly at his team-mate’s door. Speaking to motorsport.com the Mexican said: “Between us, we ruined a great opportunity for the team.
“Actually I feel that I couldn’t have done anything to avoid the accident. I was next to the wall, and there was no room for me to go.
“It’s a big shame, the way everything turned out, it was just over-aggressive. In all my career I’ve had team-mates who have been hard but given enough room. What happened today is totally unacceptable for the team.
“I think the way he raced today wasn’t right. I think he did didn’t have any logic.”