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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.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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