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Force India drivers continue Spa clash blame game in Twitter videos

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Force India Formula 1 drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon continued to blame each other for the on-track clash in the Belgian Grand Prix in a series of Twitter posts following the race.

Having previously made contact on-track in Canada and Baku, Perez and Ocon tangled twice during the race at Spa on Sunday in separate incidents.

Running down to Eau Rouge on the first lap, Perez squeezed Ocon towards the wall on the right-hand side of the track, with both escaping without any damage.

Perez claimed responsibility for the first clash, but the second and more costly coming together happened in near-identical fashion later in the race, with neither driver wishing to back out of the move.

Damage forced both drivers to pit for repairs, with Perez ultimately retiring from the race late on. Ocon went on to finish ninth, continuing his impressive points record in 2017.

Force India’s management reacted angrily to the incident, confirming it would insist on team orders from now on to prevent its drivers clashing yet again and harming the team’s constructors’ championship score.

Ocon posted a video on Twitter in the hours following the race in which he repeated his claim that Perez “tried to kill me”, calling his run to ninth and haul of two points “damage limitation”.

Perez responded by posting two videos of himself talking about the incident, insisting that he was not at fault for the second coming together.

On Monday morning, Ocon issued a short statement on Twitter in which he wrote he would be moving on from the incident, as well as accepting Perez’s apology for the first clash.

Force India has already confirmed it will revise its rules of engagement with both Perez and Ocon ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

March 29 in Motorsports History: Scott Dixon wins first race after reunification

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Reunited and it felt so good.

That’s what drivers likely thought before the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the first time since 1995, major-league open-wheel racing in the United States was under the banner of a sole sanctioning body as Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge had reunified just a month prior.

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead. Photo: Jim Hines/IndyCar.

The first race after reunification also saw a reversal of fortunes for Scott Dixon, who won the race after losing the 2007 IRL championship in crushing fashion.

In the 2007 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap of the race. The race victory – and championship – went to Dixon’s future teammate, Dario Franchitti.

But the tides turned for Dixon nearly seven months later, and the Kiwi was able to win with the help of another driver’s misfortune.

Tony Kanaan was leading with seven laps remaining when E.J. Viso spun and made contact with Kanaan’s car. Kanaan remained on track through the caution period despite suffering obvious damage to his right front suspension.

On the final restart with three laps remaining, Dixon and others cars easily passed Kanaan’s wounded car on the outside. Dixon then maintained his lead through the checkered flag to win at Homestead for the second time in his career.

“I think Marco (Andretti) and T.K. probably had a little bit better cars today, but we came through with the win, and that’s what counts,” Dixon told ESPN after his 12th career victory.

Following his victory at Homestead, Dixon continued to redeem himself through the course of the 2008 season. In May, he won the Indianapolis 500 for the first (and so far only) time. Following Indy, he went on to win four more times in 2008 and won his second series championship.

Also on this date:

1998: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, the first of eight victories in his first championship season.

2010: Will Power won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was held on a Monday morning because of rain postponing the race on Sunday.

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