Max Verstappen Red Bull F1 Driver Punished For Shoving Esteban Ocon After Brazilian Grand Prix
Formula One driver Max Verstappen has been punished after being caught on camera shoving his rival Esteban Ocon.
The angry exchange in the paddock came after a collision during the Brazilian Grand Prix which likely cost Red Bull driver Verstappen the win in Sao Paolo.
Verstappen has been ordered to serve two days of public service after race stewards ruled he "started an altercation" with the Force India driver before "pushing or hitting Ocon forcibly several times in the chest".
Verstappen was leading at Interlagos when he tried to pass backmarker Ocon, who attempted to get ahead of him whilst being a lap behind, but instead the pair made contact.
The impact sent the 21-year-old Dutchman into a spin and he ended up in second place, which allowed five-times world champion Britain's Lewis Hamilton to gain the lead and he won the race for Mercedes.
Verstappen was furious with Ocon, 22, and said over the radio: "I hope I can't find him now in the paddock because that guy has a f****** problem."
He also branded the Frenchman an "idiot" and said Ocon had taken "a stupid risk".
Stewards found Ocon at fault and handed him a 10-second stop and go penalty.
After the race, TV footage from the paddock showed the Red Bull star pushing Ocon with one hand, with the Frenchman responding by pressing his hand into Verstappen's chest.
Verstappen brushed his hand away and continued to push Ocon backwards, who at one stage seemed to drop down a step onto a lower level.
Verstappen then shoved him again before walking away as officials intervened.
Both drivers were then called to the stewards for alleged "physical contact with another competitor".
Force India defended their driver, while Ocon criticised Verstappen for the Dutchman's post-race conduct.
He told Sky F1: "What I'm really surprised of is the behaviour of Max, the FIA having to stop him from being violent, pushing me and wanting to punch me.
"That is not professional."
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he could understand his driver's frustration.
He told Sky F1: "I think has been pretty restrained, to be honest with you, it's cost him a grand prix victory.
"He's driven his heart out with a damaged car. Esteban was lucky to get away with a push.
"Emotions are running high. I told him 'just get yourself under control on the cool-down lap', because he's lost a victory through no fault of his own today."
Verstappen added: "What can I do about it? I lost a victory but hopefully in 15 years time, we can laugh about it."
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