Ross Brawn feels both Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon have reasons to share the blame in their controversial clash during the Brazilian Grand Prix and urged the pair to learn from the incident.

The Formula 1 Managing Director for Motorsport has given his take on the headline-grabbing smash between Verstappen and Ocon in Interlagos which saw the Dutch driver effectively lose out on a likely victory to Lewis Hamilton when he collided with Ocon while leading, with the Frenchman one lap down, which sent both drivers into a spin.

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Tensions boiled over as Verstappen aggressively confronted his rival, pushing him on several occasions in the FIA garage, which landed him with a two-day public service punishment. Ocon served a 10-second stop/go penalty for colliding with Verstappen on track during the race.

Brawn feels Verstappen’s actions post-race demonstrated a clear lack of emotional control from the Red Bull driver which he feels he must master for “an essential next step” in his F1 career.

“The incident with Ocon was a cruel moment, but in the aftermath Max showed he has made enormous progress in his career [but] is still not able to manage his emotions in these situations, an essential next step,” Brawn said.

“Having said that, one mustn’t forget he is still very young and while his conduct wasn’t justifiable we can all understand the frustration he felt after the incident and again at the end of the race, the outcome of which should not cancel out what was an amazing performance from the Dutchman. After all, it’s not every day you drive past two Ferraris and two Mercedes.

“I’m sure Max will learn from what happened and that everything that happened, including the penalty he was given, will contribute to his development as a driver and mainly as a man.”

Turning his attention to Ocon, Brawn also took pity on the Force India driver looking to unlap himself but says the overly aggressive on-track tactics were uncalled for.

“While the Frenchman was entirely justified in wanting to unlap himself, given that he was clearly quicker at that moment, it has to be said there was no reason for him to take on Verstappen as though he was fighting for his first win in Formula 1,” Brawn said.

“He deserved the 10-second stop and go penalty he was given in the race. Drivers must not forget they are role models for the fans and for youngsters who want to follow in their footsteps.”

Brawn has also speculated Ocon was “caught up in the moment” with bad blood from their junior careers revealing itself.

Ocon and Verstappen were title rivals in 2014 in the European Formula 3 series, taking on each other on multiple occasions that season, which saw the French driver secure the title with the Dutchman ending the year in third place behind Tom Blomqvist.

But during that season Verstappen made history by securing a F1 drive with Toro Rosso for 2015 to become the youngest driver in history of the premier class. Ocon moved into the GP3 Series the season after, winning the title in his rookie year, but had to wait for his F1 debut until midway through 2016 with Manor.

“I don't think that Ocon, when he attacked Max during the race, was simply thinking of trying to get in the points,” Brawn added. “I believe it was more the case that he was caught up in the moment and didn’t think it through, maybe fighting to the death with the race leader might not have been the best plan, even when that driver is one with whom you had some spirited fights in the lower formulae.

“Overall, Sunday was a lesson for both Verstappen and Ocon, one they won’t forget in a hurry. It’s just another part of their learning curve.”

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