Max Verstappen appears willing to stand by his actions with Esteban Ocon towards the end of the Brazil Grand Prix, saying that Ocon's reaction immediately following the incident prompted him to approach him physically after the race.
Ocon attempted to unlap himself in the closing stages of the race and inadvertently collided with Verstappen, causing both cars to spin and cost Verstappen the victory.
The Dutchman confronted Ocon post-race and footage showed him pushing his fellow driver in a fit of frustration, refusing to apologise for actions and when speaking to Dutch media Ziggo Sport on Monday, he explained why he reacted so aggressively.
He said: "It is always easy to talk afterwards. I just wanted to look for him and ask ‘what was going on, how could something like this happen?’
“But he immediately answered ‘I was faster than you’ and said it with such a smile on his face. I tried to be as positive as possible towards my mechanics, but of course this second place doesn’t feel right.
“And then you meet someone like him who doesn’t even apologise for what happened and reacts exactly the other way around.”
Happy to finish 2nd, but we should have won today. The car was brilliant and @redbullracing came with a great strategy. Our race pace was better than expected and we did everything well today. Thanks to all fans for voting me Driver of the Day again ???????? #KeepPushing #BrazilGP ???????? pic.twitter.com/dXmUbf9yXf — Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) November 11, 2018
Verstappen clearly remains incensed by the incident and was dismissive of Ocon's ability, particularly when the two faced off in Formula 3, and added that he doesn't see him as any threat to him in F1.
He said, ”No, and he’s actually no competitor at all in Formula 1. I just focus on the people I have to focus on, and try to beat drivers who have good material as well.”
But Verstappen was keen to focus on the performance of the Red Bull car despite the end to the race, believing they have proved that they are capable of competing with Mercedes and Ferrari.
He added: "The fact that we were able to overtake both Mercedes and Ferraris showed how incredibly good the car was. On the straight we are still too slow, but especially in the twisting second sector we had much more speed in the race."