Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel is confident that Force India Formula 1 drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will be able to resolve their ongoing tension, as the four-time Formula One world champion compared their battle to his own rivalry with Mark Webber during the period the two races together for Red Bull Racing. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon came to blows on-track for the fourth time this Formula 1 championship in Belgium at the end of last month, prompting Force India to introduce team orders as of the last race, which took place at the Monza track last weekend.
Sebastian Vettel raced alongside Mark Webber at Red Bull between 2009 and 2013, with the pair experiencing a number of spats through that period, most notoriously with the ‘Multi 21’ incident which took place at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. Asked to comment on his own situation and on the current rivalries, Ferrari’s driver explained that communication was key to ensuring the working relationship continued to function, believing it is not possible to reach a point of no return:
“I think you can always talk to each other. On-track, let’s be fair, you have occasions where things may not turn out the way both want to. I don’t think any driver ever has really bad intentions over his teammate or any other guy but for sure the duel with your teammate is a bit more intense. You’re driving the same car, you are therefore naturally fighting for the same position around the track. So, yeah, you want to stay ahead. The team don’t really care which driver because they see their cars. You have to be, in a way, egoistic inside a car. Equally, you want to do the best for the team. But there’s never a line, I think, you cross you can never can come back from. They obviously took the opportunity to talk to each other. If I look now with Mark, I have a very good relationship with him, and we talked also about stuff that happened years ago with a lot of distance. Now we can laugh about it.” – Sebastian Vettel said, as reported by the British media on Tuesday.