hamilton benefits after brazil crash drama spills over
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

Hamilton benefits after Brazil crash drama spills over

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Egypt Today, egypt today Hamilton benefits after Brazil crash drama spills over

Max Verstappen.
Sao Paulo - DPA

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed one of his more fortunate victories thanks to Max Verstappen being spun off track by the lapped Esteban Ocon in an incident which continued to reverberate long after Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Both Verstappen and Ocon were called to the Formula One stewards after the drivers faced off afterwards in the garage when Dutchman Verstappen shoved Frenchman Ocon.

It has resulted in Verstappen being ordered to perform two days of public service at the discretion of the motorsport federation FIA.

"The stewards understood from Max Verstappen that he was extremely upset by the incident on track during the race 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," a FIA statement said.

Verstappen was leading on lap 44 when Ocon, who had been lapped but was now on softer and quicker tyres, attempted to unlap himself by overtaking the Red Bull driver.

The two came together and Verstappen spun off before recovering with a damaged car to take second place behind Hamilton, who enjoyed his 10th win of the season.

Hamilton had already clinched his fifth drivers’ title in Mexico, and he has now helped Mercedes equal Ferrari’s record of five consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles won by Ferrari with Michael Schumacher between 2000 and 2004.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed afterwards that Hamilton's engine was on the point of failing, only for technicians to find a solution remotely.

But it was the Verstappen-Ocon incident which was the talking point of the penultimate race of the season, which ends in Abu Dhabi on November 25.

Ocon was within his rights to attempt to unlap himself but the general opinion - backed by the stewards who slapped him with a 10-second stop-go penalty - was that the Force India driver was at fault and that the incident cost Verstappen a second successive victory.

"Should Verstappen have taken more care? Perhaps, but he was entitled to greater circumspection from a driver so far down the field – 16th of the 18 runners at the time," Britain's Mail Online said.

And Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport said that while Hamilton and Mercedes could celebrate, until the collision Verstappen and Red Bull were "the true protagonists" of the race.

As on the track, neither 21-year-old Verstappen nor 22-year-old Ocon wanted to give way after the race. Verstappen was still angry in the post-race press conference, saying: "To get taken out like that, and to get a stupid response from his side as well, I was not happy about that.

"I’m just trying to do my race and suddenly a backmarker is ... just taking a stupid risk, to dive in on the inside. What can I do about it? The penalty for me today is that I lost the victory. Hopefully in 15 years we can laugh about it."

On the altercation afterwards when Verstappen pushed Ocon in the chest, the Dutchman said: "We are all passionate about the sport. I mean, it would be odd if I had shaken his hand."

Ocon though maintained he did nothing wrong in attempting to overtake, and accused Verstappen of unprofessional behaviour.

"The rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself if you’re faster," he said.

"But what I’m really surprised is the behaviour of Max coming into the scales. The FIA having to stop him being violent, pushing me and wanting to punch me. That is not professional."

Ferrari meanwhile had the consolation of third place for Kimi Raikkonen, but Sebastian Vettel from second on the grid struggled to finish sixth behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes.

"Obviously not happy at all, not a good day for us, losing out on the constructors’, but I’m happy that Kimi got on the podium at least," Vettel said.

"My race started quite badly – and finished quite badly."

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