Ricciardo warns Ocon against ‘tearing’ into each other

Michelle Foster

Martin Brundle expects Esteban Ocon to be "brilliant" at Renault.

After Esteban Ocon’s problems with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo has reminded the new Renault signing that they are team-mates and need to work together.

Ocon raced in Formula 1 from mid 2016 to the end of 2018, spending nine races with Manor before moving over to Force India, now known as Racing Point.

During his two years with Force India he clashed with his team-mate Perez on several times, forcing the team to ban the two from racing one another.

Ocon recently revealed it was a “not so good atmosphere” with Perez, adding that it is “not something I want to redo again”.

Perez, though, is not the only driver who didn’t appreciate Ocon’s antics, neither did Verstappen.

The Dutchman got physical with the Frenchman after the two collided when Ocon went to unlap himself off race leader Verstappen at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The clash cost Verstappen the win and he confronted Ocon in the cool down room.

This season Ocon is back on the grid after a year on the sidelines as a Mercedes reserve driver.

The 23-year-old will partner Ricciardo at Renault, replacing Nico Hulkenberg at the Enstone team.

Ricciardo has urged Ocon to put the team first.

“He’s had problems with Perez, problems with Max… we, him and I, need to understand that we’re not fighting for wins yet, so for us to be tearing each other’s heads off is not the way we need to go about our business,” the Aussie told The Age.

“We’ve got to be smart and help each other out and bring the team forwards together. I’ve got no intentions to do anything other than that.”

Ricciardo feels Ocon’s arrival at Renault is similar to when Verstappen joined him at Red Bull in 2016.

Again he will be taking on a youngster looking to make a name for himself.

Ricciardo is determined to make sure he stays ahead of the Frenchman.

“I had a bit of a taste at Red Bull when Max came in as the hot new property and me being the established guy, so it’s not new to me,” he said.

“I know if he starts beating me, that becomes the narrative, but I’m not looking into that too much. Until he starts beating me, I have every opportunity to beat him, so I’m going to do what I can to make sure I’m the one.”

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