Tuesday , September 28 2021

Brazilian GP: Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon are coming to blow

They say that each story has two sides, and it was certainly true of the incident between Max Verstappen and Estean Ocone, who decided on the fate of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was cruising to what would have been a great second-round victory when both sides struck each other on the 44th, forcing Red Bull to steer and conferring leadership and possibly victory to Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen was ruthless, Ocon persevering. The Stewardess decided that the Frenchman was guilty and handed him a 10-second penalty, the most severe punishment before disqualification.

But in the green room before the podium, Hamilton suggested the incident was not so clear.

He told Verstappen that Ocone had the right to deny himself. Verstappen agreed, adding: "But you can not get into a leader who does not do anything crazy."

Hamilton's answer? "You had to lose more than he did. He was not lost."

Verstappen was briefly lost in words. It sounded very much like an advice from someone he could not admire and respect.

The Hamiltonian view is where moral correctness and race judgments differ. And some would say that this is the difference between a five-year world champion with 12 years of experience and a brilliantly talented, but sometimes rashing, 20-year-old, who is still very beautiful in black and white.

Versatile view

When the incident happened, Verstapin had 27 laps to reach before an excellent victory.

He started fifth, optimistic that despite the lack of a Red Bull qualification, he would be able to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari ahead of him. He quickly defeated Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettelu and Walter Bottus, and was only 1.8 seconds behind Hamilton after 10 laps and clearer.

His move convinced Mercedes "strategists" that they needed to stop Hamilton as soon as they could to protect Red Bull from stopping first and get to the world champion with what is known as "low".

Hamilton was called on the 19th lap, the team surpassed his request to stay outside, because he thought it was too early and he still had life in his tire. Verstapene's work now was to extend its first firmness as long as possible.

He did it perfectly, the team did not limit him to page 35 to give him the greatest possible tire advantage in the final part, met again a few seconds behind Hamilton and stood in their three laps.

It was supposed to be a race. He had better tires than Hamilton behind him, because the world champion was in any case primarily aimed at Mercedes designers and it was potentially engineered – Mercedes was at one point warning of an unavoidable lapse before they managed to control Hamilton's exhaust.

But after Verstapenas, the lap again got the leaders from the cruise to the end, Okon himself stood fresh tires and came out behind him, dropping down, but on fresh, very soft tires and faster.

On his lap behind Verstapenas, his team had told Ocone that he could wipe himself off and he went to it, turning Verstapenas' exterior onto Turn One. Verstappens struggled with him, just over half the car's width forward when they turned into Turn Two, and in his right rear corner he picked up Ocon's front left and the victory was over.

Verstappens was angry. "I just tried to make my own race, and then the back marker takes a dash of risk," he said. "I lose the victory, but hopefully after 15 years we can laugh about it.

"He has the right to keep it, but you have to be careful. He's always been an idiot."

His team boss Christian Horner supported him. "With the backmarker's mistrust we've lost a grand prix," he said.

"Max is the race leader and Okon had gotten in. He's got a car far faster than the straight. What on earth he thought he was doing … It was not well-worked with Ocon and totally irresponsible that he even dreamed of a racing leader" .

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko went even further, referring to Ocon's status as Mercedes's new driver and pointing out that it might have been deliberately saying, "This is the driver looking for a Mercedes contract and he's an idiot."

But Horner rejected it. "This is a coincidence," he said. "There is obviously a history between the two drivers, but it was just a very bad call for judgment. He has a circle, not even points, and he is competing for the championship, and the team must assume its responsibility."

Less simplified view

Okon said: "I came from the pit. I left behind on the first lap. On the second lap, the team said," If you want it, you can go out. "I went out, I overcame I Fernando (Alonso) and many other drivers , but obviously he did not give enough space.

"I was around and I could not get lost, and then I saw that he turned around and we were in a hurry. He might be nervous, but if you run the race, you have to overcome it."

Hamilton had just 2.7 seconds to see the incident on the back.

"I'm not surprised or anything like that," he said. "I saw them racing, but they were not racing to the same position.

"I would have been in a different state of mind. Fortunately, no one was hurt and they went on. It's a race event, I think. Max is a go-getter guy, and every time and then it gets you.

"There are no rules to say that you can not wipe yourself. I've done it before. When you're in the state of Ocon, you have nothing to lose. You can go faster on the tires and you're trapped. The front is to save your tires.

"It felt like it was a fair game to not do it yourself. Of course, you do not want to cause an incident, but in these scenarios you give each other a place. You can never believe that guys are not in. There is and leaves more space."

Both views are merit. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is possible to believe that Ocon was wrong in creating a risk for the race leader and also that Verstappen might be wiser to give him more space in the circumstances.

Hamilton Team Boss Toto Wolf is a friend of Verstapen's father, Jason, and Max is very high. Many believe that a 20-year-old could ever end up in Mercedes, possibly replacing Hamilton when he retired.

Wolfe said: "You can see that the next champion comes together. Incredible talent and speed, and I think that once the exit sides are turned off, he will be someone who will be a world champion one day.

"After a few years, he will look at this frame footage and maybe express his opinion about whether it is the right behavior or not. But you can not accelerate these things. It's a learning process."

Then fisticuffs

"Pushgate" stands out because Max Verstappen angry faces with Esteban Ocon after the race

Right after the event, Verstappen was in the Ocon driver's weight zone.

Earlier on the weekend, he had spoken of his dissatisfaction with the loss of a pole at the previous race in Mexico and said that he "could literally make a mistake if someone said something wrong after qualifying." I was angry. "

On the slippery car, he said the same thing when he said that Ocona had to hope that he would not find him after that.

Now he once ordered Okon, then again and again, at the same time made clear in his words of wrath.

Okon said: "What I'm really surprised about is his behavior after the race. We went to the scales he started to push me and wanted to beat me and trivial things, and that's not right."

Ocone at the top: all smiles in Formula 3 pedestal games in 2014

This was not an incident that arose from nothing. Ocon and Verstappen are old competitors. Ocon beat Verstapenu 2014 European Formula 3 titles and they do not like each other when they went to each other on the go.

"There's a lot of history among these drivers," Horns said. "It's just potatoes. We do not know what words were exchanged between them. We do not give in to violence, but you have to understand emotions – you have been defeated and very successful.

"Of course, in these competing animals there is a human reaction. Emotions are beginning to grow and sometimes boil."

Verstappen was called on to see the drivers and they said that, although they were "sympathetic to his passion", it was "an obligation for athletes to act properly on this level and as a model for other riders." His sentence is two days from the "public service" FIA.

It's a punishment that surrenders echoes from those issued by Sebastian Vettel for a trip to Hamilton in Baku in 2017 and Michael Schumacher for an attempt to remove Jacques Villeneuve in the title of 1997 in the making of the Jerusalem.

A remarkable achievement was obscured

All these fests: Mercedes is one of the designer champions, equal to Ferrari's six successive titles

There were two things on the VSP on the day of events.

First of all, it provided a window for the potentially exciting F1 in the future. In short, it means that it's a challenge that he and Red Bull will be able to install Mercedes and Hamilton if the new engine partner Honda will be able to fulfill the promise that the latest engine will appear this season. And in the long run, the potential future battle between the Strength of Verstappen and Ocon, if the franchisor, as many hope, will reach Mercedes in 2020.

But it also overshadowed Mercedes by hiding its fifth constructors champion and world title double in line with Ferrari's 2000-4 achievement with Schumacher.

This, according to Wolff, was the most difficult championship to win and as a result felt the best of all.

"We had a deep fight with Ferrari," he said, "and the fact that it will be possible to win the fifth-round championship is something we would not have dreamed of six years ago. In our most advanced dreams, this would not have happened to me by leveling up the Ferrari record that seemed out of reach.

"I'm so excited to be in this team. This success of Ferrari is what I really looked and admired. To achieve this, you have to thank all the team members for a thousand times."

And it was the final word for the excellent work Hamilton made, overcoming what more than once was not, was a faster car.

"He is an extraordinary manager and an unbelievable man, and he is an integral part of the team," Wolfe said. "He is at the forefront and in the car. Many people have been successful, but obviously it would not have happened without him."

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