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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.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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