Sunday , April 2 2023

Brazilian GP: Mak Verstappen and Esteban Ocon are hit


Each story has two sides, they say, and this is certainly true for the incident between Mak Verstappen and Esteban Ocon who decided the fate of the Grand Prix in Brazil.

Verstappen cruised on what would have been a great second win in a row, when two collapsed on top of the circle 44, and Red Bull entered the spin and handed over to Levis Hamilton and eventual victory.

Verstappen was furious, Ocon did not trust himself. The stewards decided that the Frenchman was guilty of him and gave him a 10-second stop, the hardest penalty before disqualification.

But in a green room in front of the podium, Hamilton suggested that the incident was not so clear.

He told Verstappen that Ocon had the right not to fit. Verstappen agreed, adding, "But you can not get in the lead, which does nothing crazy."

Hamilton's answer? "You had more to lose from him; he had nothing to lose."

Verstappen is short lost because of the word. This sounds very similar to the advice of someone you can not, but admire and admire.

Hamilton's attitude is when moral integrity and conflicting judgment are separated. And, some would say, it's the difference between a five-year-old world champion of 12 years of experience and a brilliantly talented but occasionally drop-out of a twenty-year-old who still sees the world in black and white.

Verstapp's look

When the incident occurred, Verstappen had 27 laps to go before he finished a great victory.

He started fifth, optimistic that, despite the lack of a qualifying rhythm of Red Bull, he would be able to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari in front of him. Quickly passed Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas and was 1.8 seconds behind Hamilton after only 10 laps and clearly faster.

His pace convinced Mercedes's strategy that they must stop Hamilton as soon as possible, in order to protect him from Red Bull who first stopped and passed the world champion with what is known as "trimmed".

Hamilton was called on Circuit 19, a team that over-decided his request to stay because he thought it was too early and that he still had life in his tires. Verstapp's job was now to extend his first term as soon as possible.

It did a great job, a team that did not prevent him by 35th round to give him the highest possible advantage in the tires in the last part of the race, returned a few seconds behind Hamilton and passed him in three rounds.

It should be a race won. He had better tires than Hamilton behind him, the world champion in any case concentrated mainly on securing the title of the constructor for Mercedes and ran into the potentially extreme problems of the engine – Mercedes at one point had a warning about a direct omission in the circuit, before they managed to bring Hamilton's exhaust temperature under control.

But the circle after Verstappen again captured the lead, but in the cruise mode to the end, and Ocon himself came out behind him, circling down, but in fresh super-soft tires and faster.

After the circle behind the Verstappen, Ocon told his team that he could get out and go for it, going around Verstappen in Turn One. Verstappen fought against him, it was slightly more than half a turn forward, as they turned to Turn Tvo, and the right-hand right corner was collected by Ocon's left front and the victory was gone.

Verstappen was angry. "I was just trying to do my run, and then the mutual marker was a stupid risk," he said. "I lost the victory, but I hope that we will be able to laugh in 15 years.

"He has the right not to fit, but you still have to be careful. He has always been an idiot."

His team manager, Christian Horner, supported him. "Through irresponsible break-marker actions, we lost the grand prix," he said.

"Mak is the leader of the race and Oton was banged, he has a much faster speed on the right track. What on earth thought he was doing … It was not well led by Ocon and completely irresponsible, even if you dream of a race race leader."

Red Bull Motorsport Champion Helmut Marko went even further, citing Ocon as Mercedes's young driver and indicating that he might have been intent on saying, "This is a driver looking for a Mercedes contract and he is an idiot."

But Horner refused. "It's a coincidence," he said. "Obviously there is a history between the two drivers, but it was a very bad court summons, it's a big series, even in the points and it runs on the league race. The team has to take some responsibility."

A little simplified view

Ocon said: "I came out of the box (pit), the first round I had left. The second round that the team said:" You can refuse yourself if you want. "I went out, the same passage to Fernando (Alonso) and many other drivers, but clearly he did not give me enough space.

"I was side-by-side and I could not go away, and then I saw how to turn and collide. It can be upset, but if you run a race, you have to control it."

Hamilton had a look at the grandstand view of the incident with just 2.7 seconds behind.

"I did not surprise him or him," he said. "I saw how they were racing, but they did not race for the same position.

"I would be in another thinking, luckily, nobody hurt, and they continued to work, it's a racing incident, I suppose. Mak is the one who is fighting for a wardrobe and every time he bites you.

"There are no rules that say you can not remove yourself, but I've done it earlier." When you are in the position of Ocon, you have nothing to lose, you can go much faster on the tires and trapped Tip in front of him is saving his tires.

"It felt like a fair game does not fit in. Of course you do not want to cause an incident, but in these scenarios you give space. You can never assume that the guys are not inside, it leaves more space."

Both views have credit. They do not even rule out one another. It's possible to believe that Ocon was wrong in risking the race leader and that Verstappen might have been wise to give him more space in the circumstances.

Hamilton's team-mate Toto Wolf is a friend of Verstappen's father Josh, and he really highly rated Mac. Many believe that a 20-year-old might someday end up in Mercedes, perhaps as a replacement for Hamilton when he withdraws.

Volff said: "You can see that the future champion agrees together. An incredible talent and speed, and I think that when the unclean edges turn off, it will be someone who will someday be a world champion.

"In a few years she will look at the footage of today's days and may have her own opinion whether it's the right behavior or not, but you can not speed up these things, it's a learning process."

Fisticuffs after that

"Pushgate" comes out, while Mak Verstappen angrily opposes Esteban Ocon after the race

Immediately after the race, Verstappen confronted Oconomo in the field of weighing the driver.

Earlier this weekend, he talked about his frustration after losing his half in the previous race in Mexico and saying: "He could literally do some damage if someone says something bad after qualifying." I was so angry. "

In a car that slowed the circle, he noticed the same thing when he said that Ocon must hope he did not find it in the paddock.

Now he pushed Ocaon once, then again and again, although he clearly expressed his anger in words.

Ocon said: "What really surprised me is his behavior after the race. We went to the scales so he started pushing me and wanted me to hit things and that was not right."

Ocon at the top: Everyone smiles on the podium of Formula 3 in 2014

This was not the case that came from nothing. Ocon and Verstappen are old rivals. They were running against each other from the karting, Oton defeated Verstappen on the title of European Formula 3 in 2014 and apparently did not like it.

"There is a lot of history among these drivers," said Horner. "We return to carting right now, we do not know what exchanges are exchanged between them. We do not support violence, but you have to understand the emotions – you had a victory from yourself and they are high.

"Of course there is a human reaction in these competing animals. Emotions take place high and occasionally overturn."

Verstappen was invited to see the stewards and said that, while they were "sympathetic to their passion", "the obligation of athletes at this level is to act appropriately as a role model for other drivers." His sentence is two days of "public service" in the direction of the FIA.

It is a punishment that echoes those who have handed over to Sebastian Vettel for driving to Hamilton in Baku in 2017 and Michael Schumacher for attempting to extract Jackues Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez.

Extreme achievement was shining

All five: Mercedes is a constructive champion car that equates Ferrari with six consecutive titles

The Verstappen event packed into the incident did two things.

First, it provided the window to a potentially fascinating F1 future. Both short-term, in the light of this, indicated the power of the challenges that he and Red Bull could accede to Mercedes and Hamilton if the new engine partner Honda could fulfill the promise of its last motor this season. And in the long run, in the intensity of a potential future battle between Verstappen and the Oceans, if the French, as many expect, will end in Mercedes 2020.

However, it also overshadowed Mercedes in the fifth consecutive championship of the constructors and the double world championship title, which won Ferrari's achievement from 2000-4 with Schumacher.

This, he said, was the toughest championship for victory and as a result he felt the best of all.

"We had a hell of a fight with Ferrari," he said, "and that we are able to win the fifth consecutive championship is something we would not have dreamed about six years ago. In the most unlikely dreams, that would not come to my mind, equating the Ferrari record looked unreal.

"I feel lucky to be in this team, and Ferrari's success is something I've really looked at and admired. In order to do this, you have to thank thousands of times for all the team members."

And there was the last word for the extraordinary job Hamilton did in overcoming what is more than a faster car.

"He is an exceptional driver and incredible man and he is an integral part of the team," said Wolf. "He's one in the lead and in the car. Many people have contributed to success, but obviously this would not have happened without him."

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