Jacques Villeneuve has called Sergio Perez’s driving style at the Belgian Grand Prix “ridiculous” after the Mexican collided with his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon on two separate occasions. In both incidents, Perez and Ocon came to blows on the entry to Eau Rouge, with the second giving Ocon severe front wing damage and Perez a puncture.
Jacques Villeneuve criticises Sergio Perez for “ridiculous” driving in Belgium
The incident was under investigation from the FIA but it was decided that no further action would be taken against either of the drivers. Villeneuve however, conducted his own investigation in his mind and blamed Perez, who “was to blame 100%”.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s his team-mate,” Villeneuve told Autosport. “Team-mate, no team-mate, it should not have happened between two drivers. You’re not so supposed to put anyone in danger. You can brake too late, make a mistake, fine, but down the straight you don’t weave and squish, you just don’t do that. It’s ridiculous.
“”A piece of carbon went outside of the track. You can hurt someone from the public. This has to be stopped,” he added. “That kind of move from Perez is not racing, it’s pure blocking. You don’t do that. It’s aggressive. It’s dirty.”
Despite the incident, Ocon went on to finish in ninth place, although Perez did retire from the damage he sustained. With tensions still high after the race, the prior took to Twitter to vent his anger, saying: “Perez tried to kill me two times”.
Damage limitation today, we were having a good race until Perez tried to kill me 2 times! Anyway he didn’t manage to do so ending up P9?! pic.twitter.com/00kmub96B4
— Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) August 27, 2017
When asked if Ocon was right to be angry at his team mate, Villeneuve backed the young Frenchman: “Yes. Ocon didn’t lift to prove a point I guess,” he said. It’s ego, it’s an internal battle to see who would be the strongest in the team. There is this ego thing going on. Ocon was very ballsy, especially in the first one. Wow. He kept in it. That was impressive.”
Villeneuve was also surprised that the stewards found no reason to penalise Perez for the incident: “This is the most dangerous thing you can do in racing and they never penalise that in F1,” he said. “Sometimes, people crash into each other because they messed up their braking and they fighting. That should not be penalised but they penalise that because there was an accident. This was embarrassing. They don’t give a penalty for it, especially when the FIA is pushing so much the safety.
“Even a four-year-old could see it. It’s ridiculous,” added the 1997 world champion.
Following the incidents at Spa, Force India has threatened both of its drivers with a race ban, and confirmed that its policy on team mates being free to race one another would be changed for future races.
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