Verstappen: No regrets over altercation with Ocon | 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Max Verstappen says he doesn’t regret his behaviour towards Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix despite being sanctioned by the FIA.

The stewards ordered Verstappen to perform two days of public service for committing “acts prejudicial to the interests of… motor sport”. The Red Bull driver confronted Ocon and shoved the Force India three times following the collision between the pair at Interlagos.

Asked during today’s FIA press conference whether he regretted his behaviour Verstappen said: “No not really, because I was after an apology and I got a bit of a different response.

“We are all emotional. At the time I lost the victory. So I think from my side I was really calm. It could have been much worse.

“I think pushing, in any sport, it happens. I just saw a few days ago in football again. From my side it was quite a calm response.

“What do you expect me to do, shake his hand? Thank you very much for being second instead of first? I think it’s quite a normal response. I got my two days with the FIA which we’ll find out what we’re going to do.”

Verstappen indicated he pushed Ocon because he was unhappy with his rival’s response when the pair spoke at the FIA garage after the race. “You guys don’t really hear what’s being said at the scales,” he said. “You just see me pushing. But if you understand the whole conversation I think it’s a bit different.”

Asked what Ocon said to him, Verstappen said: “Something I didn’t expect to hear.

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“It doesn’t matter what it was at the end of the day because it clearly pissed me off instead of, straight away, an apology. Maybe after the race you are still, the adrenaline in your body, you maybe don’t get the right answer.”

Esteban Ocon, Max Verstappen., Interlagos, 2018Why Verstappen should have been banned for shoving OconThe pair collided during the race while Ocon was trying to un-lap himself from Verstappen, who was leading at the time. Verstappen said Ocon, who was on fresh tyres at the time, shouldn’t have tried to get past.

“I think for two laps you feel you have decent pace but the guys in the lead they are most of the time not pushing flat-out to get somewhere because once you’re ion the lead, what do you want to do? Maybe you want to try and get past and pull away but within two laps your tyres have gone or at least the peak is gone and you end up letting us by again.

“That whole process to try and get by you’re also destroying your tyres in a way. So I think it’s always better to just stay behind and follow. Clearly that was not the case.”

Speaking in the same press conference Ocon explained why he had tried to un-lap himself.

“I had a slow pit stop so I came in between Lewis [Hamilton] and Max, got the blue flags after a couple of corners I got away from the blue flags and I was quite fast behind Max. I was stuck, the team came into the radio saying you can un-lap yourself if you want and if you are faster.

“As Max said he was managing the tyres so I went for it. It was important for us to get close to the top 10 pack if something happens, a penalty or anything, I could have got in the points.”

Ocon said he was sorry Verstappen lost his chance of victory in the collision. “It’s not a great thing to be involved in a crash with the leader of course. It’s not a thing you want to see. I’m sorry for Max, it was his race to win, he did a fantastic job during the whole race.”

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