Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon Clash – What The Drivers Said
Following the Brazil Grand Prix, all eyes were on the Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon clash which saw the two drivers come together on and off track.
Across social media, things have been split between the pair – many supporting Verstappen, many supporting Ocon however personally, I think both drivers were at fault and the whole incident could have been avoided.
I understand that many people will disagree with me, and that’s fine, but here are my reasons as to why I think both drivers are at fault.
This was Max Verstappens race to lose – without the incident, he would have won the race without a doubt. All the way throughout the Brazil GP, he showed that he had incredible (absolutely incredible) pace – passing Ferrari and Mercedes alike.
There’s no denying that Max Verstappen is a true talent and one day – he will be a World Champion as he’s proven himself in the sport however just when I think he’s maturing, he takes a slight step back.
In this case, Verstappen was leading the race and making his way through the grid, passing back-markers but as a driver in the lead, this is when you need to be EXTRA cautious. If Max Verstappen had left that little bit more room when overtaking Ocon, this whole incident would have been avoided and he would have won the race.
Looking through the replays again and again, it seems (to me) that he turned in that little bit too early – if he started turning just after the corner, I think he would have been OK.
Now, onto Esteban Ocon – he’s a nice guy and for anyone suggesting that Mercedes ‘told him’ to do this is a silly suggestion. No one could have predicted how much pace Max Verstappen had for the race and no one could have predicted that Max Verstappen would be leading so in terms of Helmut Marko making this suggestion, for me, it’s out of order and I really disagree.
As a driver, Esteban Ocon said that he was looking after his own race and didn’t want to lose more time but one thing that I don’t understand is why he felt the need to battle with Verstappen?
Verstappen was in the lead and there was NO need for Esteban Ocon to continue the battle. When you look at the replay, there wasn’t anywhere for Ocon to go on that corner – only to go off-track.
For me, both drivers are to blame – Max Verstappen can’t assume that because he’s a race leader that people / drivers will automatically move out of the way. This is when he needs to be extra cautious and back-markers are normally new drivers or less experienced and it’s always better to be wary.
On the other hand, Esteban Ocon shouldn’t have been battling Verstappen – there was no benefit for him other than to not ruin his own time which is what he said after the race too.
Overall, I think Max Verstappen took things too far – I don’t agree with any type of violence and whilst I understand how upset and angry he was with the whole situation, it was both drivers’ faults.
Here, you can see what both drivers had to say following the race.
MAX VERSTAPPEN – INTERVIEW AFTER BRAZIL GP
Max Verstappen: “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.”
ESTEBAN OCON – INTERVIEW AFTER BRAZIL GP
Esteban Ocon: “It’s disappointing not to score when we had good pace. I had made some good overtakes throughout the race, but it all came to nothing after the contact with Max (Verstappen).”
“He came out of the pits, I stayed behind him for nearly two laps but I was much faster than him and the team advised me to unlap myself.”
“I went on the outside at turn one – the same move I made on Fernando (Alonso) and on many others before, but Max didn’t give me any space.”
“Once I was beside him I couldn’t just disappear, so we collided. But it was my corner and I had the right to the space. I was saddened by his behaviour after the race: he was very aggressive and the guys from the FIA had to intervene.”
“That’s not the way to handle these things…”