FIA stopped Verstappen punching ‘stupid’ Ocon

Mat Coch

Monday 12th November, 2018 - 6:47am

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Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen make contact

A furious Max Verstappen had a physical altercation with Esteban Ocon following the Brazilian Grand Prix after the pair clashed on track, costing Verstappen the race win.

The Red Bull driver had chased down and passed Lewis Hamilton to head the race, but his advantage was short lived after Ocon looked to pass the race leader.

Looking to take the outside line through the first turn, the gap Ocon was looking for vanished as Verstappen took the racing line.

Following the race the pair clashed as they were being weighed, Verstappen shoving Ocon.

It followed Verstappen gesticulating at Ocon as he recovered from the clash, his temper boiling over post-race.

The pair shoved each other several times before finally being separated by FIA officials.

“We’re all passionate about the sport , right? It would be odd that I would shake his hand,” Verstappen said.

“I’m a winner. To get taken out like that and then to get a stupid reponse from his side as well, I wasn’t happy with that.”

“I was two laps behind Max. The first lap I was a lot faster, the second lap I was a lot faster – I had fresh tyres,” Ocon started by way of an explanation.

“The rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself if you are faster, and that’s what I did on the second lap because I saw I still had the massive pace.

“I went around the outside of him, that’s the same move I did on Fernando (Alonso), the same move I did on many other drivers coming from last in the first lap.

“It didn’t happen in the same way the corner after that but what I’m really surprised of is the behaviour of Max coming into this gate (interview pen), the FIA having to stop him from being violent – pushing me and wanting to punch me. That is not professional.”

Stewards investigated the on-track incident and handed Ocon a 10-second stop go penalty, though he was already outside of the points at the time.

Ocon was also handed three penalty points on his Superlicence, taking his total to five for the 12 month period.

“The Stewards reviewed the video evidence from multiple angles as well as the timing and positioning data,” read the Stewards report.

“The driver of Car 31 (Esteban Ocon) was a lapped car. The Stewards noted that he had new Super Soft tyres. Ocon attempted a pass on the leader, Car 33 (Max Verstappen) to un-lap himself at the outside of turn one.

“The Stewards determined that he failed to complete the pass at turn one, and as a lapped car, fought the leader for track position, causing the collision at turn 2 with the race leader.”

For Verstappen, the clash left him with a damaged floor, and dropped him to second where he finished the race.

The post-race incident saw the pair called to the race stewards for an “act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally”.

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