Verstappen claims Ocon’s reaction triggered his shoves

Max Verstappen says that the verbal response he received from a grinning Esteban Ocon in the weighing area after the Brazilian Grand Prix was the cause of his subsequent physical altercation with the Force India driver.

Verstappen claims Ocon’s reaction triggered his shoves
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Verstappen was given two days of ‘public service’ with the FIA as punishment for his actions, which came after the duo had collided in the race when he was leading and Ocon was attempting to unlap himself at Turn 2.

Speaking on the Peptalk show on Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport on Monday evening, Verstappen said it was Ocon’s flippant response that led to his furious reaction of repeatedly shoving the Force India driver.

“It is always easy to talk afterwards,” said Verstappen when asked if he regretted the post-race fracas. “I just wanted to look for him and ask ‘what was going on, how could something like this happen?’

“But he immediately answered ‘I was faster than you’ and said it with such a smile on his face.

“I tried to be as positive as possible towards my mechanics, but of course this second place doesn't feel right. And then you meet someone like him who doesn't even apologize for what happened and reacts exactly the other way around.”

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Asked if he thought Ocon might have taken revenge for their Formula 3 clashes in 2014, Verstappen hit back: “No, and he's actually no competitor at all in Formula 1. I just focus on the people I have to focus on, and try to beat drivers who have good material as well.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
4/7

Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
5/7

Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
6/7

Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India square up after the race following their on track crash
7/7

Photo by: Sutton Images

Additional reporting by Ronald Vording

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