- Image by Andy Hone/LAT

F1: Ocon labels Verstappen ‘violent and unprofessional’

By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent

1y ago

5.6K

Esteban Ocon believes he was not at fault for the collision with Max Verstappen in the Brazilian Grand Prix and says the Red Bull driver was “violent and unprofessional” after the race.

Verstappen was leading the race having climbed through the field from fifth on the grid when Ocon attempted to unlap himself at Turn 1. The pair went side-by-side through Turn 2 and collided, both spinning and relegating Verstappen to second place, where he would finish. Ocon was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for the incident, and Verstappen then confronted him as they went to get weighed, pushing the Frenchman repeatedly.

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“Violent and unprofessional behavior,” Ocon said. “The FIA had to stop him. If not, he would probably have punched me, but that probably would have been a good thing as everyone would have seen it. That’s not the way you should behave as a professional driver.

“Just after the race, there is emotion, I can understand that, but you can speak — you don’t need to come with hands basically.

“The fights have to happen on-track. We are sportsmen — we represent a lot of young kids, a lot of people in front of TV. If that was filmed today, it would be massive news. For me that is not right.

“I know him. There is no way to talk.”

As for the incident that provoked the altercation, Ocon believes he was well within his rights to attempt to unlap himself against Verstappen and says the Red Bull driver didn’t give him room as he fought back.

“The situation was that I came out of the box, I had fresh tires, the first lap I had a lot of pace, on the second lap the team came to me and said, ‘Yeah you can unlap yourself if you want, go by Max.’

“So I went by Max — I had the pace for it, like I did on Fernando (Alonso), on many other drivers in this race as well. Once I’m side-by-side with him, I can’t disappear, and then we have the contact. There’s no rule that says you are not allowed to unlap yourself. I’ll have to see the image first and see if it was my fault or not, but at the moment, I don’t feel like it was.”

Both Ocon and Verstappen were summoned to the stewards as a result of their exchange after the race.

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Comments (19)

  • I still think Ocon had the race line lap down or not. If Verstappen wants to win races he shouldn't enter corners so slowly.

      1 year ago
    • What? The race stewards gave Ocon a ten second penalty and points on his license. You really think Ocon had the right of way?

        1 year ago
    • Not the right away as he was a lap down. When they made contact he had the racing line. Meaning he had the inside line and his tire was more than half way past Verstappen. According to our race rules it would have been up to Verstappen to avoid the...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • All you have to do is look at what Bottas did when he was overtaken by Ricciardo to know Ocon was wrong - and that was for track position

      1 year ago
  • Does he knows what the blue flag n blue panel are for... noooo!it doesn’t mean you can be ahead of the lead car. You have the right to get yourself out of the shithole unlap yourself but only if the lead car has car issues... in which case it’s not.. you are racing wheel to wheel with the lead car!! Verspatten isn’t my favorite driver ( I support Lewis) but a Verspatten did well while you fail!

      1 year ago
  • Ocon was suppose to move out of the way of leader,period! Instead he he started racing Max who is trying to get away from Lewis and want wheel to wheel wit him even before they got to the corner where they finally collided! The rule is clear, that even if you’re fighting with another car for position,as soon as you see the car that is lapping you,you must immediately move over to let him trough! All the Bull about having right to unlap is not true in this case since even if you manage to ulap yourself to cach some slower cars, you will not be able to go around first six guys cuz they are just to fast for you to be able to overtake all of them on track! If there was SC it would be different case but not when everyone is racing as fast as they can! Ocon made huge mistake and got penalized accordingly! Only that doesn’t help Max at all!

      1 year ago
  • More drama than the usual this past weekend for sure.

    Shared to the D_TRB USA facebook page Paul!

      1 year ago
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