Wednesday 18 September 2019

Verstappen fumes after crash with 'idiot' Ocon hands Hamilton victory in Brazil

 

The force of the hefty impact on lap 43 sent Verstappen into a spin, and with the Dutchman facing the wrong way, Hamilton sailed by to resume the lead. Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker
The force of the hefty impact on lap 43 sent Verstappen into a spin, and with the Dutchman facing the wrong way, Hamilton sailed by to resume the lead. Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Philip Duncan

Max Verstappen labelled Esteban Ocon a "f****** idiot" after the Red Bull driver was robbed of a brilliant victory following a sensational collision at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was in complete control of the race after passing both Mercedes and both Ferrari cars in a superb performance at the Interlagos circuit.

But it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed the 10th victory of his championship-winning campaign, after Verstappen was taken out of the lead when attempting to lap Force India's Ocon.

Ocon, running way down the order, bizarrely raced wheel-to-wheel at 200mph with the leader before banging into Verstappen's car through the Senna Esses.

The force of the hefty impact on lap 43 sent Verstappen into a spin, and with the Dutchman facing the wrong way, Hamilton sailed by to resume the lead.

Verstappen was now five seconds down on Hamilton, and - with a wounded car - he was unable to claw the Mercedes back in before he finished in second.

Ocon was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, the most severe punishment available, but it will come as little consolation to a furious Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third for Ferrari, but it was not enough to stop Hamilton's Mercedes team from winning their fifth consecutive constructors' championship.

Uphill

Hamilton started from pole position and made no mistake from his starting blocks as he won the race to the uphill opening left bend.

Behind, Sebastian Vettel got a decent getaway, too, but locked up his front-left tyre and lost second place to Valtteri Bottas.

It would be the precursor to a rotten afternoon for the German after he finished only sixth.

Verstappen took the lead of the race and did the talking on the track, comfortably dashing past Hamilton on the main straight with 31 laps to go.

That looked to be that, but just four laps later the result dramatically turned on its head when Verstappen was wiped out from the lead by Ocon.

Verstappen was furious and he yelled over the radio: "What a f****** idiot."

"I don't know what to say," the Red Bull driver said after the chequered flag. "I hope I can't find him now in the paddock," he added, although he later did bump into Ocon in the pits, shoving him during a heated exchange.

Despite a brave fightback from Verstappen, Hamilton picked up the pieces to triumph for a second time in Brazil, and a decade on from his first of five championships.(© Independent News Service)

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