Ocon blasts Verstappen as rivalry renewed after ‘stupid idiot’ remark

Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon’s F1 rivalry was reignited during a heated - and ultimately unnecessary - near-miss in qualifying at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. 
Esteban Ocon (F
Esteban Ocon (F

Verstappen and Ocon, who famously engaged in a physical altercation after colliding at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, experienced their latest run-in amid chaotic scenes at the end of Q1 in Las Vegas. 

With several cars going slowly in the final sector, Verstappen was seen launching a divebomb move on Ocon’s Alpine into Turn 1, with the pair both starting flying lap. 

The incident came after Ocon had overtaken Verstappen a few corners earlier to move ahead of the Red Bull driver during their preparation laps. 

Ocon managed to repass Verstappen but his lap was ruined, leaving him 17th and eliminated in the first part of qualifying. 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 in qualifying parc ferme…

The Frenchman hit out at Verstappen over team radio, saying: “That’s a joke, honestly. Verstappen diving into one like crazy.”

Verstappen, who went on to qualify third, called Ocon a “stupid idiot”. 

Ocon explained he had to overtake Verstappen and felt the Dutchman had needlessly ruined his lap in retaliation. 

“The difference between me and him is that I have to do that lap because I had traffic in that first lap,” Ocon explained. “And if I don’t do the second one, I’m out. He has plenty of pace so he can afford not to do his second lap.

“But we were not respecting the delta so we have to go, for the lap. We were plus on the delta, there was three cars queuing, but we had to go. We were going to be illegal and I already got penalised last race for one of these things so it shouldn’t happen again. I had no choice, I had to go.

“So that was it. The difference between me and Max is that Max is third, I’m 17th.”

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