All sorts of bizarre things happened during the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix. First, we had Sebastian Vettel accidentally destroying a weighbridge during qualifying (below), but the weekend’s weirdest moment was yet to come.
During the race, Esteban Ocon - two laps down but going quickly on softer tyres - took a lunge up the inside of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in an attempt to unlap himself. That’s not against the rules, but the Dutchman clearly wasn’t expecting to see a pink Force India appear to his right, and the pair collided.
Both were able to continue, but the contact cost Verstappen the lead of the race, effectively handing the win to Lewis Hamilton. Max wasn’t happy, and in Parc Ferme the 21-year-old was filmed shoving Ocon several times, giving us our third weird moment of the GP.
The stewards took a dim view of the incident, ordering Verstappen to complete two days of “public service” as penance. In a statement, the FIA said:
“The Stewards held a hearing, in which both drivers acted appropriately and cooperated with the Stewards. The Stewards understood from Max Verstappen that he was extremely upset by the incident on track and accepted his explanation that it was not his original intent to strike Ocon, but that he was ‘triggered’ and caused him to lose his temper.
“While sympathetic to Verstappen’s passion, the Stewards determined that it is the obligation of sportsmen at this level to act appropriately and as role models to other drivers at all levels and found that Verstappen failed in this respect.
“The Stewards therefore ordered that Max Verstappen is required to perform two days of public service at the direction of the FIA within six months of the incident.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quick to defend his driver. “I think Max has been pretty restrained. It’s cost him a Grand Prix victory,” he told Sky Sports F1, adding, “Esteban was lucky to get away with a push, to be honest with you”. Ouch.
Ocon branded Verstappen’s behaviour as “Violent and unprofessional,” while the latter claimed Esteban “was being a pussy”. Things seemed to have calmed down between the drivers since those comments - they were later seen shaking hands in the paddock.