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Ocon: Verstappen wanted to punch me in post-race altercation

11 November 2018 20:50

Esteban Ocon says Max Verstappen wanted to punch him after the pair collided on lap 44 of the Brazilian Grand Prix and then came together in an altercation after the race. 

Ocon was looking to unlap himself at Interlagos even though Verstappen – who was leading the race at the time – had edged past him going into turn 2.

Despite waved blue flags telling him to allow Verstappen through, Ocon tried to get back in front of the Red Bull, but in doing so made contact with the Dutchman.

That sent them both spinning off the Sao Paulo track, allowing Lewis Hamilton to go through and take the race win.

Verstappen called Ocon a "f******" idiot over team radio immediately after the crash, and was seen confronting the Frenchman after the race.

When asked about the pushing and shoving, Ocon told Sky Sports: "I was really surprised by the behaviour of Max, afterwards, with the FIA having to intervene.

"He pushed me and wanted to punch me and that is not professional.

"I'm used to the fights with Max. He's always been the same. It goes back a few years."

Ocon was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty by the stewards following the incident, but he maintained his innocence.

He added: "I was behind Max for two laps. On the first lap, I was a lot faster, and on the second lap, I was a lot faster. The rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself so that's what I did.

"I went round the outside; it was the same move I did on [Fernando] Alonso, and on other drivers as I worked my way back up the field, but it didn't work out the same way."

Verstappen had a very different view about the incident, slamming Ocon for taking a needless risk.

"If stewards give him a penalty then I think we know who's wrong," he told his press conference.

"So many backmarkers try to race you. It was a stupid risk.

"What can I do about it? I lost a victory but hopefully in 15 years' time we can laugh about it."

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