Esteban Ocon crashes into Max Verstappen on turn one. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Esteban Ocon crashes into Max Verstappen on turn one. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Max’s ‘violent’ attack on F1 rival

Max Verstappen has been denied a famous victory in Brazil after a tangle with backmarker Esteban Ocon cost him a late lead.

Verstappen was surging clear of Lewis Hamilton when he and the Force India collided. It allowed Hamilton to pass Verstappen and win the race.

The young Dutchman was furious, telling his team radio: "I hope I can't find him now in the paddock because that guy has a f***ing problem."

He backed up his words, branding Ocon an "idiot" in his post-race interview and shoving him when they crossed paths.

Despite being given a 10-second penalty by stewards Ocon defended his move, saying he had fresh tyres and felt capable of making the pass.

"The rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself," Ocon said.

"I'm really surprised by the behaviour of Max ... they need to stop (him) ... becoming violent, pushing me and wanting to punch me."

But Red Bull boss Christian Horner backed his driver. "I think Max has been quite restrained to be honest," Horner added. "He was lucky to get away with just a shove."

Horner said Ocon had no right to be challenging the race leader. "What on earth Ocon was thinking about there just beggar's belief," Horner said.

"Why on earth is he racing the leader? He doesn't have the pace ... it just makes absolutely no sense at all."

Both drivers were called to face the stewards after completing their media obligations.

Verstappen said he did not regret his actions. "I'm a winner," he said. "To get taken out like that and get a stupid response from his side as well ... I was not happy about that."

Hamilton's victory helped his Mercedes team to take the constructors' title. He was reluctant to comment on Verstappen's misfortune but said: "I saw it happen. I wasn't surprised by it. I saw them racing and they weren't racing for the same position."

Hamilton, who had already sealed his fifth Formula One title, started from pole position and finished less than two seconds ahead of Verstappen. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium at Interlagos.

Daniel Ricciardo fought back from a grid penalty to finish fourth ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished sixth.