An extremely angry Max Verstappen physically confronted Esteban Ocon following today’s Brazilian Grand Prix as the pair were being weighed post race.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver who was leading the race when he was spun by Ocon who was trying to unlap himself was seen shoving the Frenchman following the race with an FIA delegate stepping in between the two.
Speaking following the race, Verstappen said:
“First of all I want to thank the Team. The car felt amazing all race, even with a damaged floor towards the end. The set-up, balance and strategy were perfect today. To be this competitive at a track we didn’t expect to be is really positive, and makes me look forward to Abu Dhabi. We have come away with a P2, which should have been a win. This shows we were performing really well, beyond expectations. It is a real shame we didn’t come away with the win due to the incident with Ocon. Of course a backmarker can un-lap himself but he took an unnecessary amount of risk, especially against the race leader. They gave him the penalty for causing a collision so I think that says enough. At the end of the day I am a passionate sportsman that wants to win, this situation is frustrating and shows emotion when competing at the highest level. It is now important to take the positives from the race and the rest of the weekend and carry on the momentum into Abu Dhabi.”
Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull was happy with how his race panned out. Starting the event from 11th place following a five grid penalty came through the field to finish the race in fourth place.
Speaking following the race he said:
“I’m happy with my race, I’m happy with all the Team’s efforts but still a bit disappointed to just miss out on the podium. I caught Kimi and could see the podium but unfortunately it just wasn’t quite enough. The strategy was spot on once again so we can’t fault ourselves at all. I had fun and some great battles, especially my pass on Bottas. I told the team on the radio I was going for it and I made it stick. The battle with Seb was cool, I think we maybe touched once or twice, but I’ve always respected him and the way he races. We’ve had some on-track battles before, at times it gets slightly heated, but I believe we know where each other’s limits are. It’s frustrating because every time we have a penalty we seem to have a fast car, if we started closer to the front I’m confident we could have had a really good result. It’s bitter sweet I guess, we did well but if we had started where I qualified we could have done better, you can’t ask for much starting start from 11th. Anyway, I have no regrets from the race, I did all I could and I know the team did, so it is what it is. With the pace we had today I really have some optimism going to Abu Dhabi. I feel like that’s a stronger track for us than this, so maybe we can go there and drink some fake champagne.”
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner commented by saying:
“After having fantastic pace in the race today it’s incredibly disappointing to lose the victory with Max following what can only be described as irresponsible driving from a backmarker. Nevertheless, we had phenomenal pace which was demonstrated by both Max and Daniel.Exceptional driving and a great strategy enabled Max to take the lead following the pit stops and Daniel made swift progress from 11th on the grid with some outstanding overtakes, particularly on Bottas and Vettel. Second and fourth is a good result for the Team, but we can’t help but feel that we have been robbed as it should have been more. Daniel was so close to securing the third podium spot and without the penalty who knows what he could have achieved this afternoon. The encouraging factor today was our outright pace and everyone in the Team should be proud of their performance and contribution. Congratulations to everyone at Mercedes, we know how much hard work goes into winning the Constructors’ Championship. They have been the dominant team this year and let’s hope we can give them a harder time next year.”