Sergio Perez insists he and Force India teammate Esteban Ocon have learnt from their past clashes in Formula 1 heading into the 2018 season.

Perez and Ocon endured a tense relationship having become teammates in 2017 and were placed under strict team orders not to fight each other for position on track after colliding with each other twice during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The duo had come to blows earlier in the season in Baku, costing the team a strong result, while Force India also missed a clear podium opportunity in Canada after Perez refused to concede position, leading to a post-race row.

Earlier this year, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said Perez and Ocon will be free to race once more in 2018, after moving past the “conflict stage” of their partnership.

"We had a couple of incidents last year. I think we learned, we came out on top of that with the team,” Perez explained in the build up to this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“Towards the end of the year there was a good atmosphere, we were working well together. I think that's the priority for us.”

Perez believes a strong harmony within the team will be key to optimising race results and ultimately Force India’s positioning in F1’s pecking order.

“We're going to be really competitive and very close pretty much the whole season, but the most important thing is that we push the team forwards, especially now the competition is really high.

“I think we're working well and we have to keep the same working relationship that we had towards the end of the year.”

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