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Max V Ocon, Let's Get Ready to Rumble!


by George Phillips 11 months ago 6 comments

Max V Ocon, Let's Get Ready to Rumble! - It was another stunning weekend for Lewis Hamilton in Brazil, still reeling from clinching the 2018 world championship in Mexico and now set to start the Brazilian GP from pole position. That accompanied by Tony Bellew's bout with Usyk was going to make for a great weekend for British sport, surely?
Okay, well maybe not for Bellew. But lucky for us that wouldn't be the only televised fight we would see that weekend as Max Verstappen came to, uh, shoves with Esteban Ocon, who had spun Verstappen whilst he was leading the race.
With Hamilton starting from pole, it was expected that his biggest threat would be the two Ferrari's behind, desperate to keep the constructors title alive. This was not the case when the lights came out, Sebastian Vettel struggled with a sensor issue at the start which would cause him issues throughout the afternoon.
With both Mercedes' and Red Bull's starting on the Super soft compound tyres the Ferrari's were left behind as their Soft compound tyres took some time to come to life. Valtteri Bottas managed to get ahead of a struggling Vettel, to create a comfortable buffer for his teammate in P1.
As lap two came about, Verstappen managed to sling his Red Bull around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen, who had been forced by the Dutchman to cover the inside at turn 1.
The next time around, Verstappen set about the other Ferrari of Vettel. A mix of Verstappen's optimism and a struggling set of Soft Tyres meant Verstappen made short work of the German.
Verstappen managed to get himself nice and cosy behind Bottas, whilst behind Vettel managed to run wide into Subido do Lago, allowing Raikkonen into fourth.
Within a few laps, the tyres of Bottas were beginning to fade and with Verstappen close behind this meant only one thing. On lap 10 Verstappen took a lunge into turn one, putting himself into 2nd.
There was less than a few seconds to separate the top 5, with Verstappen now two seconds behind front-runner Hamilton and Bottas certainly not safe from the Ferrari's, who's tyres had begun to come alive.
As the gap closed at the front, Hamilton decided to pit for fresh tyres. Verstappen put up an admirable attempt to open up the gap and complete an overcut, but he was unable to leapfrog Hamilton in the pit stops.
With 31 Laps to go though, the Dutchman did his overtaking on the track. Comfortably taking Hamilton and starting to eke out a small lead. It was looking like a great outcome for Max, something I'm sure lots of us had been eager to see after a great performance so far and a poor start to the season.
We looked set from this point, until it happened. Watching from the TV it was almost unbelievable, I looked up to see a spinning Red Bull and Pink Blur of the Force India of Ocon.
It seems that in a bid to un lap himself on fresh tyres, Ocon had turned into the Red Bull, spinning him out of the lead. Understandably, Verstappen was furious, giving Ocon a one-finger wave and some colourful language as he made his way back on the track in 2nd place.
 Despite a valiant effort to get back on the top step, it was Hamilton who took victory in Brazil. An unfortunate result for Max but what a race for those watching. It was made even better by a charge from Ricciardo, wo managed to go from 11th to 4th, chasing down Raikkonen.
For those watching after the race, what followed was footage of an extremely upset Verstappen, pushing an almost bemused Ocon. It's understandable that Max was upset, I get upset by someone going 65 in the fast lane of the M6. It wasn't until we saw the cool-down room footage where we saw a few words of wisdom from Lewis who cool as a cucumber told Max, it was Max who had something to lose, not Ocon.
Although it probably wasn't the outcome Verstappen deserved after such a good effort, it certainly made for some interesting talking points. Hopefully we can see a few more exciting moments like this in Abu Dhabi!

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