Max Verstappen: Esteban Ocon shove 'could have been much worse'

Max Verstappen insists he has "no regrets" over what he feels was a "normal" response of shoving Formula 1 rival Esteban Ocon after their Brazilian Grand Prix clash

Max Verstappen: Esteban Ocon shove 'could have been much worse'

Verstappen will have to carry out two days of 'public service' for the FIA as a punishment for his altercation Ocon in the weighing area at Interlagos after the Force India driver sent Verstappen's race-leading Red Bull into a spin while trying to unlap himself.

Asked ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi GP if he now regretted his actions, Verstappen replied: "No not really because I was after an apology and I got a bit of a different response.

"We are all emotional and at the time I had lost a victory so I think from my side I was really calm. It could have been much worse.

"And what do you expect me to do? Shake his hand and [say] 'thank you very much for being second instead of first'? I think it is quite a normal response."

Verstappen had already suggested Ocon goaded him in their conversation, and emphasised that he was being judged without people knowing what was said between them.

"You guys don't hear what is said on the scales, you just see me pushing," said Verstappen.

"But if you understand the whole conversation you will see it as a bit different.

"[Ocon said] something I didn't expect to hear. It doesn't matter what it was at the end of the day because it clearly pissed me off."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel said he could understand Verstappen's rage in the circumstances.

"We have emotions. We are human beings and emotions go both ways," said Vettel.

"They go full of joy when something great happens and you're happy and they probably swing the other way if you are not happy or are upset.

"We are here to fight for something that means the world to us.

"We all started racing when we were small kids in go-karts and to be in an F1 car is the dream we all had.

"To race an F1 car, and then to fight for a win, that is something big at stake.

"It is not that you get a piece of cake when you have done well."

World champion Lewis Hamilton intimated after the race in Brazil that Verstappen could have played it safer when he saw Ocon attacking him.

But Verstappen dismissed any suggestion that he might have left more margin had he been in a championship fight.

"I don't think it changes if you are fighting for a championship," he said.

"It is easy to say of other people 'you should have done something different'.

"I don't expect to crash with a backmarker. If you get hit like that, I honestly don't understand what I should do differently."

shares
comments
Sirotkin 'can't believe' he will exit F1 as Kubica joins Williams

Previous article

Sirotkin 'can't believe' he will exit F1 as Kubica joins Williams

Next article

Infiniti Engineering Academy Middle East final winner revealed

Infiniti Engineering Academy Middle East final winner revealed
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021