Brazilian GP: 6 things you need to know as furious Verstappen loses his temper
Brazil 2018 didn’t quite throw up the drama of the same race a decade ago, but there was still plenty going on at Interlagos – and the feisty action did not end when the chequered flag was flown.
Here’s how they finished, and everything you need to know from the race:
1. Ocon wrecks it for Max
There’s only one place to start, and it’s with THAT moment on lap 43 when Max Verstappen saw his chance of victory go up in a puff of pink smoke.
Having made a superb start from fifth, the Dutchman jumped both Ferraris and Valtteri Bottas to take second place by lap 10.
On lap 40, he breezed past Lewis Hamilton to take the lead and then set about driving off into the distance towards victory.
But just three laps later, Force India’s Esteban Ocon tried to unlap himself, but the two tangled causing both to spin off, allowing Hamilton to re-take the lead.
Verstappen was furious and branded Force India’s Ocon “a f***ing idiot”, but managed to get back on track and drove home to second place behind winner Lewis Hamilton.
Ocon was handed a ten second stop go penalty.
“I’m happy for second but we should have won today,” said Max.
2. Handbags in weigh in room
But that wasn’t the end of the story. After the race Verstappen was still extremely angry and as the drivers gathered in the FIA garage where they are weighed, he confronted Ocon and pushed the Frenchman several times as his fury boiled over.
Afterwards, Ocon said: "What I'm really surprised of is the behaviour of Max. Coming into the scales, the FIA having to stop him from being violent, pushing me and wanting to punch me. That is not professional."
But Verstappen’s Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended his driver and said: “Esteban was lucky to get away with a push, to be honest with you.”
Verstappen himself added: "If stewards give him a penalty than I think we know who's wrong. 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.”
Asked specifically about the incident in the FIA weigh room, he replied: “I don’t have a lot to comment on that, except that he was being a p****.”
Both drivers have now been called to the stewards to explain themselves.
3. Hamilton breaks a duck
With Verstappen out of the way, Lewis Hamilton overcame one of his own jinxes to take the victory.
In every previous season he has won the world championship, he has never gone on to take another pole or victory in that season, but after his double here in Brazil, that duck has gone.
It also means he has taken a staggering 50 victories in 99 races since the advent of the turbo era in F1 which started in 2014.
It’s an incredible return and a period of dominance we haven’t seen since the Michael Schumacher era in the early 2000s. The question now is whether Lewis will end up beating the old master’s records of seven championships and 91 wins.
4. Mercedes make it five on the bounce
With Hamilton winning and Valtteri Bottas coming home fifth, Mercedes wrapped up the constructors’ title with a race to spare in 2018.
It means the Brackley-based squad have now won the last five championships in a row – and another record that has only been bettered by the Ferrari run of six from 1999 to 2004.
There is plenty of champagne being enjoyed in the Mercedes pit tonight, and back in Brackley where, rumour has it, every member of the team will pick up a £10,000 bonus for taking the title.
5. Danny Ricciardo finishes a race!
He’s had a miserable run of eight DNFs this season (more than Lewis has had in the last FIVE years in total), but at last Daniel Ricciardo brought his car home to the finish today in Brazil.
He had superb pace throughout and, starting from 11th after yet another grid penalty, he drove his way up to fourth, and was less than a second behind third-placed man Kimi Raikkonen when they crossed the line at the end of the race.
He’s desperate for another podium with Red Bull before he leaves the team for Renault at the end of the season, but given the way he’s been driving, you wouldn’t bet against it happening in Abu Dhabi in two weeks.
6. Ferrari fade
Starting second and fourth, and having the soft tyres bolted on, Ferrari looked like a good bet for victory here before the race, but as the laps ticked down it just seemed to slip away from them and Kimi eventually finished third, three places ahead of a lacklustre Sebastian Vettel.
Perhaps, given the drivers’ title battle was over at the last race, it is understandable that Vettel was not on top form, but here’s hoping he and the team can reset themselves over the winter and give us another thrilling fight with Mercedes (and hopefully Red Bull) next season.