Esteban Ocon feels he did not do anything against the rules trying to unlap himself against race leader Max Verstappen and has questioned his rival’s professionalism after accusing him of trying to punch him after the race.

The Force India driver became the centre of controversy when he clashed with Verstappen at the start of Lap 44 when Verstappen was trying to lap him while leading the race.

Singapore V4, F1,

Ocon dived up the inside at Turn 2 which caused contact and saw both drivers spin off, which the French driver was given a 10-second stop/go penalty for causing the incident, while Verstappen effectively lost the Brazilian Grand Prix in second place to Lewis Hamilton with a damaged floor.

Verstappen vented his anger over team radio and at the end of the race sought out Ocon at the FIA weight checks. The Dutch driver was filmed aggressively confronting his rival before pushing him multiple times until FIA staff intervened.

Ocon has duly slammed Verstappen’s behaviour will defending his own on-track actions.

“It was violent and unprofessional behaviour,” Ocon said. “The FIA had to stop him.

“If not, he would probably have punched me, but that probably would have been a good thing as everyone would have seen it. That’s not the way you should behave as a professional driver.

“Just after the race, there is emotion, I can understand that, but you can speak, you don’t need to come with hands basically.

“The fights have to happen on-track. We are sportsmen, we represent a lot of young kids, a lot of people in front of TV. If that was filmed today, it would be massive news. For me that is not right.

“The rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself if you are faster, so that’s what I did on the second lap, I saw I had massive pace, I went around the outside, the same move I’d done on Fernando [Alonso] and many other drivers coming from last in the first lap. It didn’t happen the same way in the corner after that.”

Both Ocon and Verstappen have been called to an FIA inquiry for the post-race incident in the garage.