Marko believes Red Bull dispute is over

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that the team considers the dispute between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to be over.

Vettel ignored team orders to overtake Webber for the lead in the dying stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday, as the internal tension at Red Bull boiled over for all to see. Although many believe the matter is far from over, Marko has assured the media that the issue has been put to bed.

“In the debrief afterwards, there was the relevant discussions about the race and then there was a handshake between the two drivers,” Marko said to the BBC.

“For us, now, the issue is settled.”

Marko has frequently favored Vettel over Webber, calling the Australian “inconsistent”, but on this matter he has said that triple-champion Vettel was in the wrong.

“I don’t think he will do that again.

“They don’t have to be completely on the same page but it must be a solid working partnership.”

Although the handshake between the two drivers suggests that the situation is not irreparable, the matter is likely to still be the talk of the paddock when Formula One returns in two weeks’ time at the Chinese Grand Prix. However, Red Bull will be keen on drawing a line underneath the entire dispute, in order to prevent their championship charge being damaged from the inside.

F1 2017 driver review: Esteban Ocon

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Esteban Ocon

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 31
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P5 (Spain, Mexico)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 87
Championship Position: 8th

A shining star in Mercedes’ junior programme, Esteban Ocon vaulted fellow youngster Pascal Wehrlein in the pecking order to secure a seat at Force India for 2017 – and boy, did he live up to the hype.

Ocon arrived at Force India with half a season of racing under his belt after his outings with Manor late in 2016, but wasted little time in settling in, scoring points on debut in Australia after winning a thrilling three-way fight with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

The Frenchman spent much of the year close to teammate Sergio Perez – even if things did get a little too close in Canada, Baku and, finally, Spa, prompting the team to introduce team orders – and impressed the entire paddock with his displays.

While no podium was forthcoming, Ocon was often leading the midfield fight, enjoying three straight finishes ahead of Perez from Japan to Mexico. Given how well Perez is rated on-track in the paddock, to have convincingly beaten him in such fashion did a lot for Ocon’s reputation.

The term ‘Oconsistency’ also came into F1’s dictionary as he set a new record for consecutive finishes from his first race, with his retirement in Brazil ending the streak at 27 grands prix. It was also his first retirement in a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Grand Prix.

The highlight moment arguably came at Monza, though, when Ocon stuck his Force India third on the grid through torrential rain in qualifying. While he would drop to P6 at the checkered flag, the display nevertheless cemented his place as one of F1’s rising stars.

Mercedes rates Ocon very highly, and with Valtteri Bottas’ future beyond 2018 already being questioned by the paddock, a good season could see the youngster move on up to the top table of F1 for 2019. His progression in the next 12 months will be fascinating to keep track of.

Season High: Lining up P3 on the grid at Monza after a rainy qualifying.

Season Low: Clashing with Perez in Baku, costing Force India a possible podium.