Marko: Ocon clash was clearly Perez’s fault

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez should be a worried man with Helmut Marko putting the blame for his collision with Esteban Ocon “clearly” on the Mexican driver’s shoulders.

And we all know what happened to the last Red Bull driver he criticised for crashing.

Perez was involved in an incident with his former Racing Point team-mate in the opening practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The collision, which wasn’t caught on camera, ended with Perez rounding the corner with rear left damage while Ocon pulled over metres later with front end damage.

The stewards ruled that neither driver was to blame, stating: “The two cars reached the apex at the same time and just barely touched wheels.

“In the end, both drivers agreed in the hearing that it was an unfortunate miscommunication of timing between them, not helped by the fact that both drivers had limited or no communications with their teams at the time.

“Both drivers agreed that neither was at fault.”

Perez’s boss, though, didn’t see it that way.

“This was clearly Perez’s fault, who passed Ocon and then this incident happened,” he told ORF.

“The damage is repairable, but of course he lost time. But it was a difficult situation in general.”

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The Imola paddock suffered technical issues in Friday’s FP1 when a local fibre optic line failed.

That meant team radio as well as driver tracking and onboard cameras weren’t available.

“The problem was that the pit radio was not working in its entirety,” GPBlog quotes Marko as having told the Austrian broadcaster.

“And that seems to have irritated most of the drivers.”

Of course if all else fails there is another way for the drivers to see what is going on out on track.

Marko added: “I don’t know what they have rear-view mirrors for.”

As for Perez, he concedes he misjudged the corner and the speed of the two cars.

“We didn’t have radio so I think that was a miscommunication through there,” Perez told reporters.

“I was slower than he was and I misjudged going into the apex, but it was just bad timing for myself.”

The last time Marko blamed a Red Bull driver for crashing, Pierre Gasly, his stint in Milton Keynes was cut short while prior to that Daniel Ricciardo was given the blame for the 2018 Baku crash with Max Verstappen that ultimately led to the Aussie leaving the team.

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