‘I think it is quite a normal response. It could have been much worse’: Max Verstappen admits he still has no regrets over confronting Esteban Ocon at Brazilian Grand Prix
- Max Verstappen caused controversy after pushing Esteban Ocon in Brazil
- Red Bull driver was left fuming after Ocon had crashed into him at Interlagos
- Verstappen was given two days community service by FIA stewards for push
- READ: All the latest F1 news, features and points tables
Max Verstappen returned to the Formula One paddock on Thursday and expressed no regret for the altercation with rival Esteban Ocon that landed him in trouble at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Red Bull driver must do two days of community service for shoving Force India’s Ocon three times in the post-race weighing area after they collided on track at Interlagos two weekends ago.
The angry scenes, caught on television and broadcast worldwide, continue to be a talking point in the sport.
Max Verstappen has defended his post race actions following the Brazilian Grand Prix
Verstappen was in a press conference before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix along with Esteban Ocon (left), Sebastian Vettel (second left) and Kimi Raikkonen (second right)
‘I don’t understand what I could have done differently,’ Verstappen told reporters ahead of the season-ending race at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit.
‘We are all emotional. At the time I had lost a victory, so I think from my side I was really calm. It could have been much worse.
‘Pushing, in any sport, it happens. I actually saw it a few days ago in football again. From my side, I thought it was quite a calm response. What do you expect me to do, shake his hand and ‘thank you very much for being second instead of first’?
Tensions flared on the weighbridge as Max Verstappen (right) confronted Esteban Ocon
Verstappen was furious with the Force India driver after the two had collided during the race
Verstappen furiously gesticulates towards Ocon during the heated exchange in the pit-lane
‘I think it is quite a normal response. But OK, I got my two days with the FIA.’
Verstappen and the Frenchman had earlier clashed on track at the Sao Paulo circuit, with the Dutch driver leading the race and Ocon a lap down.
Ocon, on fresher tyres, tried to unlap himself but the two cars instead collided in an accident that cost Verstappen victory.
Asked whether he regretted his post-race response, Verstappen replied: ‘No, not really because I was after an apology and I got a bit of a different response.’
He said television viewers had only seen the pushing and not heard what was said between the two, suggesting they might have had a different opinion if they had been able to.
Ocon drove straight into Verstappen who had been comfortably leading the race in Brazil
‘If you understand the whole conversation I think it’s a bit different,’ he added, saying it was ‘something I didn’t expect to hear.’
Ocon, attending the same news conference but separated from Verstappen by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, steered clear of another argument.
‘I am sorry for Max, it was his race to win, he did a fantastic job during the whole race,’ he said, before again explaining his position.
‘Things have happened, you can’t come back from what has happened but that’s how it is. We have to move forward,’ he added.
Verstappen was all smiles as he arrived at Yas Marina ahead of the final race of the season