Verstappen felt 'provoked' by Ocon in parc fermé

Second placed Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing.
© XPB 

Max Verstappen feels that he was provoked into a physical altercation with Force India's Esteban Ocon following their clash in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver hunted down Ocon in parc fermé after the race, but says he had just wanted to talk and had not intended to lash out at his rival.

“I just wanted to look for him and ask ‘What was going on? How could something like this happen?'" he explained on Monday evening's Peptalk show on Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport.

“But he immediately answered ‘I was faster than you’ and said it with such a smile on his face," Verstappen continued.

"I wanted to be positive for my mechanics, but then you see someone like that who does not even apologise for what happened, and reacts exactly the other way around."

Following some pushing and shoving, Verstappen was ordered by the FIA to carry out two days of public service for the scuffle at the FIA Weigh Bridge Garage.

Ocon had earlier been given a ten-second stop-and-go-penalty for causing the lap 44 collision that cost Verstappen the lead of the race.

Verstappen was asked whether he thought there was more to the incident than a simple error in judgement by Ocon as he tried to unlap himself, such as a plan to win favour with Mercedes or as retribution for prior battles between the pair in junior formulae.

“No, and he's actually no competitor at all in Formula 1," he responded. "I just focus on the people I have to focus on, and try to beat drivers who have good material as well.”

"You do not expect to be hit by a laggard. I'm glad my dad wasn't there!" said the 21-year-old.

Although he's been criticised for not being able to control his emotions in stressful situations, Verstappen insisted that he wasn't about to turn to sports psychologists for help.

"If they come to me with a psychologist, I'll kick them out right away!" he laughed.

"You have to stand firmly in your own shoes. I don't need anyone. My father is a bit like a psychologist anyway."

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