F1: Mercedes wins Constructors title, Verstappen confronts Ocon

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Lewis Hamilton took a lucky win in the Brazilian Grand Prix after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lost the lead in a collision with Force India’s Esteban Ocon.

The incident dropped the Dutchman back to second place

Verstappen was on course for a superb win when Force India’s Ocon left his car on the inside of the Red Bull at the Senna S and pitched it into a spin.

Verstappen remonstrated with Ocon in the driver weighing area afterwards and pushed the Frenchman three times as he expressed his anger at what had happened.

Both drivers were called to see the race stewards to explain the incident, with Verstappen ordered to carry out “two days of public service” to atone for “making deliberate physical contact with” Ocon.

In the green room before the podium ceremony, Hamilton told Verstappen that Ocon had the right to unlap himself. Verstappen agreed, but added: “But you can’t crash.” Hamilton responded: “You had more to lose than he did. He had nothing to lose.”

Later, Verstappen told the media: “He has the right to unlap himself but still you have to be careful. He has always been an idiot.”

In his post-race interview, he said: “You do everything right and then you get taken out when he is being lapped.

“The car was working great but I don’t know what to say. I’m happy with second but we should have won.”

The punishment has echoes of that served by Sebastian Vettel after his collision with Hamilton at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Vettel ended up taking part in educational activities organised by the FIA, Formula 1’s governing body.

Hamilton’s win helped Mercedes secure the constructors’ championship.

They never looked like losing that as Ferrari’s challenge faded but the race win was another matter.

Ferrari fading

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished third, the red cars unable to challenge for the lead despite what had been perceived as an advantageous strategy.

Raikkonen tracked Bottas in the first stint as the Mercedes hit tyre problems but was unable to pass before Bottas stopped on lap 18.

A longer first stint gave Raikkonen a tyre advantage in the second stint, he caught team-mate Vettel, who was ordered to let him past, but again Raikkonen became stuck behind Bottas.

Eventually, after 10 laps, Raikkonen finally got past, and then Bottas came under pressure from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo before Mercedes ordered him in for a second stop on lap 59, with 12 to go.

Ricciardo took fourth, ahead of Bottas, with Vettel, who also made a second stop, a struggling sixth.

Vettel
Vettel was reprimanded after angrily driving off some weighing scales during Saturday’s qualifying
Image: Getty

What happens next?

The curtain comes down on the season in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time. After wins for three different drivers from three different teams in the past three races, who knows what will happen?

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