Brazilian GP: Max Verstappen-Esteban Ocon crash stokes debate

"I have no words", Verstappen said.

"We did everything today", he said.

Esteban Ocon: "I was two laps behind Max".

The British driver finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Verstappen got every last drop out of his supersofts before switching to the soft compound and it looked like victory was assured, but Ocon threw a spanner into the mix on lap 44.

"They're quick on the straight, we know that".

"As far as I was aware, no one behind was on a lap so I was making sure I had the gap but then all of a sudden, out of the last corner - sorry, out of turn 11 - I saw a vehicle coming at high speed so I was like 'oh my God, is that someone on a lap?' so I went to move to the left and that's where he chose to go but he wasn't on a lap, so I don't really know what his thinking was really, with it, because respectfully, between all the drivers, we all do respect. you know, I could have easily tried to overtake Valtteri or whoever was in front of him".

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"I'm confident the auto has a good set-up for the race".

More problems were to come as he struggled to keep his Sauber on the track, with Ericsson deciding to retire the auto after declaring on team radio: "I can not drive this!" We were struggling. We had problems with the engine.

"To be honest, I'd disqualify him. It was one of the toughest experiences I have had for some time but I enjoyed it, I love a challenge like that".

The Finn, from third, swept past Vettel to take second behind Hamilton, giving Mercedes an early one-two, but with Verstappen preparing a storm from fifth and Ricciardo from 11th. He then squatted down beside his auto, with his helmet still on, and rested his head on the sidepod.

"I had fresh tyres basically and the rules say you are allowed to unlap yourself if you are faster, and that is what I did on the second lap because I had massive pace". We are quite a conservative team. "We are racing and you don't expect that a backmarker is taking you out". When we win, people are quiet, happy but controlled. It was never a given [we would win]. "It should have a great impact on the end of the year and a great knock-on effect for next year".

Hamilton's win from pole position clinched the Formula One constructors' world championship for Mercedes for the fifth year in a row.

  • Lawrence Cooper