Two old enemies meet again on the Las Vegas street circuit. Ocon and Verstappen crossed paths and touched each other as they prepared to nail their final test in Q1. The Dutchman had plenty of room for manoeuvre, but the Frenchman ended up being eliminated, partly because of the lost time of the three-time world champion in the first sector.
With two extremely competitive and hot drivers on the track, the exchange of radio messages between the two became successful. This is Alpine’s first: “It’s a joke, really. Verstappen went into Turn 1 like an idiot.“, he commented after Max threw him at the first corner and ruined his time.
The Dutch also had no answer. “What a fool!” Max shouted on the radio as if Esteban heard him.. The truth is that the Red Bull driver made that maneuver knowing that no matter what happens, he will make the cut to be Q2. The French could not say the same, who unjustly accused Fernando in Brazil and saw how a new chapter in this feud cost him the positions in Las Vegas.
Brazil 2018 and karting: start of this rivalry
And the two pilots already know each other from various events that happened in the past. In karting they went together in parallel races, but the real fire happened in Brazil 2018. Max Verstappen was the clear dominator in Interlagos, he was on his victorious march, until he met Ocon who was breaking away. The result? Both came out and were about to hit the pits.
“What a fucking idiot! You have a lot of damage on the ground. He didn’t leave me room to throw him,” the Dutchman commented then. He even warned: “If I find him in the paddock…” And boy did it. Cross words, with the next push from Dutch to French. They must separate because of the possible consequences.
The current three-time world champion was so angry that he sentenced Ocon to some time: “I don’t even call it the incident in the garage, if I would have punched him and not hit him. I have nothing to say to him, I have nothing to talk to idiots”. At least what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas… or does it?