Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Red Bull's Max Verstappen has 'no regrets' about violent confrontation with Esteban Ocon in Brazilian GP
Max Verstappen suggested Ocon goaded him during a conversation after the race, in which Red Bull driver Verstappen finished second behind newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Abu Dhabi: Rising star racer Max Verstappen said on Thursday that he had "no regrets" about his violent confrontation with rival Esteban Ocon after the pair's crash during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Fiery Verstappen was ordered to carry out two days of public service by the sport’s ruling body after shoving Ocon several times following their crash on lap 44 in Interlagos last week, which cost the Dutchman a likely victory.
The 21-year-old told reporters at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that his response could have been "much worse". Asked if he now had regrets for his actions he said, "No. Not really. I was after an apology and I got a bit of a different response."
He added, "at the time, I had lost a victory... It could have been much worse. What do you expect me to do? Shake his hand and (say) 'thank you very much for being second instead of first'?"
Verstappen suggested Ocon goaded him during a conversation when they were on the scales in the drivers’ weighing room after the race, in which Red Bull driver Verstappen finished second behind newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton.
"You guys don't hear what is said on the scales, you just see me pushing, but if you understand the whole conversation, you will see it a bit differently," he said.
“It was something I didn't expect to hear. It doesn't matter what it was at the end of the day because it clearly pissed me off," said the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen also dismissed comments from five-time F1 king Hamilton, who suggested Ocon — who was one lap down on the young gun — was right to try to overtake.
“I don't think it changes if you are fighting for a championship. It is easy to say of other people 'you should have done something different'," he said, adding, “I don't expect to crash with a backmarker. If you get hit like that, I honestly don't understand what I should do differently."
The 23-year-old British driver earned his much-anticipated move to the Silver Arrows after three campaigns with Williams.
Verstappen's car, pushed onto the sausage kerb at the Turn One chicane, ended up with its back wheel rolling over the top of his rival's Mercedes, narrowly missing Hamilton's head.
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