Perez admits he never got on with Ocon at Force India

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Now that Esteban Ocon has departed the team, Sergio Perez has admitted that he never got on with the Frenchman during their time together at Force India.

The pair clashed frequently during their first season as team mates in 2017. They has two costly on-track clashes in Azerbaijan and Belgium after which the team was forced to impose team orders on the pair.

Although the situation was less overtly hostile this year, there were clear moments of friction and a further collision in Singapore. Team management once again threatened to step in if they couldn't sort it out between themselves.

In the end, the more experienced Mexican ended up on top with 62 points in the drivers championship compared to 49 for Ocon.

But more significantly, Perez kept his race seat at the newly-named Racing Points F1 Team for 2019 while Ocon was forced to accept a year's sabbatical away from Formula 1 as Lance Stroll took his spot.

Perez didn't seen sorry to see Ocon go.

“To be honest it was never great, the greatest one,” he said of his relationship with his former team mate.

"We didn’t spend a lot of time out of the car, so it was quite very flat," he explained. "I’ll say that with my past teammates, there was more of an outside relationship.

“There are drivers that cannot separate what is racing and outside of the car. Everyone is different.”

Perez suggested that it was possible he could be friends with Ocon in the future, now that the 22-year-old was no longer racing alongside him in the same team. He said that had been the case with Ocon's predecessor in the team, Nico Hulkenberg.

“I’ve had it before, with Hulkenberg," He said. "It’s always hard, we are so competitive, and also when you are not teammates anymore, the relationship all of a sudden gets a bit better. It depends."

Sergio Perez (MEX) Racing Point Force India F1 Team with Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams.

Perez will now have a new challenge in 2019 in the form of Lance Stroll. The Canadian teen has much to prove next season, and his first order of business will be to best his team mate.

“I don’t know him much as a driver," Perez said when asked what his view of Stroll was. "In Formula 1, it’s so difficult to prepare, to know a driver from another team.

“But the kid definitely has talent. He’s been on the podium. When it’s wet, he’s always up there."

Perez admitted that Stroll hadn't had much chance to show what he could do at the struggling Williams team in the past two seasons.

"95 percent of your results are done by the car," Perez said. "He’s certainly had a poor season down to his car. I think Williams had a lot of trouble.

"I think he’s coming to a great team with one of the best engineers in the world," he continued. “I think he will be in great hands to deliver his full potential."

The 2019 season could prove to be a make-or-break season for Stroll, in that case. But it's also true that Perez himself will have to prove himself all over again next year to ensure he remains in a competitive car in F1.

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