Force India will impose team orders that prevent Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon racing each other on the opening lap after colliding at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ocon was attempting to pass Perez around the outside of Turn 3 but the two Force Indias touched, with Ocon being launched into the wall as a result. Perez claimed he was not aware his teammate was alongside him at the time, but team principal Szafnauer says there is no excuse for not leaving another space for the other car.
“It’s unacceptable for them to come together like that in an area there’s no run-off room,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports. “They’ve got to leave each other room. The team is more important than any one individual and we’ll have to go back to the rules we instilled on them last year.
“If that’s what they’re going to do we’re going to have to take control from here. Once they’re in the car it’s hard to control what they do but prior to that we can control them.”
“You say to (Perez) that it’s unacceptable. There’s enough room on the left-hand side as I can see and you’ve got to give your teammate enough room. If it’s somebody else, if it’s not your teammate then it’s a racing incident but if it’s your teammate you’ve got to give room.
Force India previously imposed orders on the pair after they came together in Azerbaijan and again in Belgium last season. Not only is Szafnauer planning on returning to those previous rules, he suggests there remains the option to stop them racing each other at any stage.
“It’s been over a year since it happened and it was in Baku last year that we installed the rules. It was after Spa, if you remember, and from Spa until here it hasn’t happened so we are back to the old rules.
“We allowed them to race on lap one whereas in the past we didn’t allow them to race on lap one and now we can remove that. If they continue to do this, even on lap one, then there’s other ways to separate them which we hope that we don’t ever have to employ.”