Force India Formula 1 teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will no longer be allowed to race each other after clashing during the Singapore Grand Prix.

Perez and Ocon came together on the exit of Turn 3 on the opening lap in Singapore as the latter attempted an ambitious move around the outside, before Perez moved across and forced his teammate into the wall.

Ocon retired from the race on the spot, while Perez went on to have further contact with Sergey Sirotkin and finished a lowly 16th after receiving a drive-through penalty for the incident with the Williams driver.

Singapore #3 - Safety Car

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It marked the first time since forfeiting its previous points tally after re-entering the championship in Belgium as a new entity - having been rescued from administration - that the rebranded squad has failed to score with either car.

“It’s unacceptable for them to come together like that in an area there’s no run-off room. They’ve got to leave each other room,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1.

“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.”

Perez and Ocon collided on two notable occasions last season in Baku and at Spa, leading to Force India banning the duo from racing one another. Those restrictions were lifted heading into 2018 but their clash in Singapore has proved a step too far for the Silverstone-based outfit.

“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, and from Spa until here it hasn’t happened so we are back to the old rules,” Szafnauer added.

“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.”

When asked what he will say to Perez after the incident, Szafnauer replied: “Well you say to him that it’s unacceptable. There’s enough room on the left-hand side 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.”

 

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