Force India had a terrible 2018 Formula 1 French Grand Prix weekend as both its cars failed to see the chequered flag for separate reasons.

Esteban Ocon had a double hit in the opening lap carnage in the French GP – first from Haas’ Romain Grosjean and then by Toro Rosso Honda’s Pierre Gasly – forcing him to retire for the third time this season.

The stewards penalised Grosjean while reprimanded both Gasly and Ocon for their incident. In all of this, Sergio Perez had a good opening lap to be ninth from 13th on the grid and crucially got ahead of the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

The two battled on but Hulkenberg got the better of Perez to move ahead with a recovering Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas further pushed Perez in the order to be running 12th midway in the race.

The Mexican was on a longer first stint having started on the soft compound but he was forced to pit and subsequently retire on Lap 27, following an engine problem which was deemed as a water pressure loss.

“It’s disappointing to finish the race like this,” said Perez. “We had a sudden drop in water pressure and had to retire the car. It’s a shame because we had the opportunity to score a good amount of points and we leave empty-handed instead.

“I made a good start and kept clear of the incidents. I would have been eighth but Grosjean cut a few corners and got past me. We gave everything to try and get a result, but the luck wasn’t on our side this weekend.

“We have upgrades coming for Austria and I hope they can make us more competitive for the next few races.” The team had a brand new engine fitted to its car after Mercedes brought an upgraded spec for the race.

Force India’s COO Otmar Szafnauer said the team is to do an investigation on the root cause of the issue. “It’s not really been our weekend and seeing both cars retire from the race concludes a disappointing French Grand Prix.

“Esteban’s race was very short and he was simply the innocent victim of other drivers’ mistakes. The hit from Grosjean on the pit straight was totally unnecessary and unexpected, and caused significant damage to the floor of the car.

“Then being hit by Gasly caused even more damage and put Esteban out on the spot. Sergio escaped most of the opening lap carnage and was fighting for points until there was a rapid water pressure drop, which ended his race.

“We are still investigating the root cause of this issue,” he added. Force India had a torrid weekend at Paul Ricard where it was fined heavily for an unsafe release for Perez during FP2. His left rear tyre came off on the quick lap.

The FIA intervened and deemed it was the team’s second time for such mishap this year which jeopardises the safety of the team and the driver. It imposed a 100,000 euros fine of which 85,000 is suspended for a year – if it happens again, they will have to pay up.

Meanwhile, the results in France has made life further difficult for the team as Haas’ eight points meant it is now only one point behind Force India in the standings. The team were unable to close in on McLaren, who also failed to score any points.