Brazilian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen sentenced to community service for shoving Esteban Ocon and calling him a ‘f****** idiot’

12 Nov

Max Verstappen has been sentenced to two days of community service after he sensationally shoved Esteban Ocon following Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, furious with Ocon after their collision denied the Red Bull driver a fine win at Interlagos, squared up to the Frenchman as he was about to be weighed, before pushing him three times.

FIA officials had to jump in and restrain Ocon from retaliating.

The dramatic incident was caught on camera, and both Verstappen, 21, and Ocon, one year the Dutchman’s senior, were hauled in front of the stewards.

Verstappen, who finished second to Lewis Hamilton, was found guilty of “starting an altercation, pushing or hitting Ocon forcefully several times in the chest”, and failing to “act as a role model to drivers of all levels”.

As such, the Dutchman must now serve two days of public service at the FIA’s request within the next six months.

Verstappen was seething with rage after his collision with Ocon on lap 44.

Ocon, one lap down on the Dutchman and in 16th place, went wheel-to-wheel with the race leader at 220mph, before he banged into the right-rear of Verstappen’s car through the Senna Esses, sending him into a race-losing spin.

“What a f****** idiot,” Verstappen fumed over the radio before he recovered to finish less than two seconds behind Hamilton.

Verstappen and Ocon clashed through the Senna Esses

“I don’t know what to say,” Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase said.

“I know what to say,” Verstappen replied. “I hope I don’t find him in the paddock.”

The rest of his message contained a series of bleeped-out expletives.

Following their explosive altercation, Ocon, who was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty during the race – the most severe punishment available to the stewards – called Verstappen a “lunatic” on French TV and stood by his move.

“With Max it did not work out,” he said. “That’s one thing. But what is worse is Max’s behaviour afterwards – being violent, pushing me, wanting to punch me. The FIA had to stop him.

“That is not a professional way of handling things. I would do the same again.”

Verstappen, his face still red with anger in the post-race press conference, said: “He (Ocon) has always been an idiot.

“I was trying to do my job, and then suddenly a backmarker is racing you and taking stupid risks.”

Verstappen’s Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: “Max has been pretty restrained to be honest with you. It cost him a grand prix victory.

“Esteban was lucky to get away with just a push.”

Verstappen’s coming together with Ocon cleared the way for Hamilton to secure his 10th win of the year, and his Mercedes team, their fifth consecutive constructors’ championship, with one round of the season to come in Abu Dhabi a week on Sunday.

Brazilian GP: Max Verstappen brands Esteban Ocon a “f****** idiot” as they fight after collision costs Red Bull driver victory

11 Nov

Max Verstappen called Esteban Ocon a “f****** idiot” after the Red Bull driver was robbed of a brilliant victory following a sensational collision at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Footage captured after the race shows the Dutchman shoving his French counterpart, with tensions clearly still running high.

The Frenchman was given a 10-second stop and go penalty by race officials

Verstappen was in complete control of the race after passing both Mercedes and both Ferrari cars in a superb performance at the Interlagos circuit.

But it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed the 10th victory of his championship-winning campaign, after Verstappen was taken out of the lead when attempting to lap Force India’s Ocon.

Ocon, running way down the order, bizarrely raced wheel-to-wheel at 200mph with the leader before banging into the right-rear of Verstappen’s car through the Senna Esses.

The force of the hefty impact on lap 43 sent Verstappen into a spin, and with the Dutchman facing the wrong way, Hamilton sailed by to resume the lead.

Verstappen never recovered and ultimately finished second

Verstappen was now five seconds down on Hamilton, and – with a wounded car – he was unable to claw the Mercedes back in before he finished in second.

Ocon was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, the most severe punishment available to the stewards, but it will come as little consolation to a furious Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third for Ferrari, but it was not enough to stop Hamilton’s Mercedes team from winning their fifth-consecutive constructors’ championship.

It was not long before Verstappen, the winner in Mexico a fortnight ago, was on the move from fifth on the grid.

The Dutchman was clearly fuming after the race

On lap three, Verstappen launched a charge down the inside of Raikkonen at Turn 1 before producing the same move on Vettel a little over 60 seconds later.

The Red Bull star was on a flyer, and it did not take him long to get the better of Bottas, sailing past the Silver Arrows at Turn 1.

Hamilton’s lead was steady, a little more than two seconds clear of Verstappen, but the British driver was the first of the frontrunners to stop for fresh tyres, boxing for new rubber on lap 19.

Verstappen took the lead of the race but – despite failing to build up enough of a margin to leapfrog Hamilton during his change for tyres – the Dutchman did his talking on the track, comfortably dashing past Hamilton on the main straight with 31 laps to go.

That looked to be that, but just four laps later, the result dramatically turned on its head when Verstappen was swiped out from the lead by Ocon.

Verstappen was furious and he yelled over the radio: “What a f****** idiot.”

“I don’t know what to say,” the Red Bull driver said after the chequered flag.

“I hope I can’t find him now in the paddock,” he added, followed by a series of bleeped-out expletives.