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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.

Dakar Stage 8 Highlights: Ricky Brabec blows engine, retires

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The motorcycle class of the Dakar Rally has been a seesaw affair through seven stages, but Ricky Brabec seemed poised to win the class for the USA. Until he blew an engine in Stage 8 that is – and gave up a more-than seven second lead. He was the second rider to retire after starting the stage as the leader. Joan Barreda retired in Stage 3.

Brabec was looking to become the first American rider to win in 27 years, but his fate was eerily similar to last year. Three days from the end of the stage, he retired about 50 kilometers into the stage, which is precisely when and where he retired in 2018.

With Brabec’s trouble, Toby Price leapfrogged from third to second in class despite riding with a metal pin in his wrist. In the world’s most grueling endurance event, it has never been more obvious that it isn’t over till it’s over.

Meanwhile, Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to run a consistent rally. With a 46 minute advantage over Nani Roma and Sebastien Loeb, all he needs to do is stay error free for the final two stages to win his third Dakar.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, Sebastien Loeb scored his fifth stage win of the Rally by seven minutes over Nasser Al-Attiyah, but problems in Stage 3 have kept him from being competitive for the overall lead. 
 Jakub Przygonski earned his third podium of the Rally. All of these have been third-place finishes.

Class Leaders: Al-Attiyah holds an advantage of 46:29 over Roma and 46:45 over Loeb.

In motorcycles, Ricky Brabec’s blown engine opened up the class once more. 
 Matthias Walkner narrowly edged Pablo Quintanilla by 45 seconds. 
 But it was Toby Price’s third-place finish that helped elevate him to the class lead. 
 Sam Sunderland was supposed to blaze the path for the riders, but a malfunctioning navigation system kept him from rolling off first. Blazing the trail is a disadvantage and officials adjudged him to have tampered with his system to avoid that fate. Sunderland was penalized an hour to finish 35th on the stage. He dropped to ninth in class.

Class Leaders: Price inherited the lead over Quintanilla by 1:03 and 6:35 over Walkner

In side by sides, Francisco Lopez Contardo scored the victory over Cristian Baumgart by 4:47. 
 Gerard Farres Guell rounded out the top three.

Class Leaders: Contardo holds an advantage 0f 54:10 over Rodrigo Piazolli and one hour, 08:09 over Guell

In quads, there was no surprise in Nicolas Cavigliasso winning his seventh stage of the season. 
 He padded his overall advantage over Gustavo Gallego by more than nine minutes. 
 Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli finished third.

Class Leaders: Cavigliasso holds and advantage of one hour, 24:52 over Ferioli and one hour, 44:04 over Gallego

In trucks, Dmitry Sotnikov won the stage to take over the class lead. He beat Ton Van Genugten by 22:01. 
 Siarhei Viazovich rounded out the top three. 
 Eduard Nikolaev lost the class lead by finishing eighth – nearly one hour behind Sotnikov.

Class Leaders: Sotnikov holds an advantage of 26:49 over and one hour, 7:43 over Gerard de Rooy

Stage Wins

Motorcycles
Sam Sunderland [2] (Stage 5 and 7), Matthias Walkner [2] (Stage 2 and 8), Joan Barreda [1] (Stage 1), Xavier de Soultrait [1] (Stage 3), Ricky Brabec [1] (Stage 4) and Pablo Quintanilla [1] (Stage 6)

Quads
Nicolas Cavigliasso [7] (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli [1] (Stage 3)

Cars
Sebastien Loeb [4] (Stage 2, 5, 6 and 8), Nasser Al-Attiyah [2] (Stage 1 and 4) and Stephane Peterhansel [2] (Stage 3 and 7)

Side-by-sides
Francisco Lopez Contardo [4] (Stage 2, 6, 7 and 8), Reinaldo Varela [1] (Stage 1), Gerard Farres Guell [1] (Stage 3), Sergei Kariakin [1] (Stage 4) and Rodrigo Piazzoli [1] (Stage 5)

Trucks
Eduard Nikolaev [3] (Stage 1, 2 and 5), Andrey Karginov [2] (Stage 3 and 4), Dmitry Sotnikov [2] (Stage 6 and 8) and Gerard de Rooy [1] (Stage 7)

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