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Esteban Ocon

Verstappen and Ocon in qualifying spat: 'Stupid idiot'

The Dutchman was not impressed by Esteban Ocon after he made a move during the closing stages of Q1.

Ocon Las Vegas
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Max Verstappen has blasted Esteban Ocon for being a "stupid idiot" during qualifying for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The Dutchman criticised Ocon after they almost collided on track during the closing stages of Q1, as the Alpine driver started his final lap.

After the move Verstappen said over team radio: "What a stupid idiot!"

Ocon also responded to the situation, clearly irked by Verstappen: "That's a joke honestly, Verstappen diving like crazy into Turn 1."

This spoiled the Frenchman's lap and put him down to P17, as he failed to improve while Verstappen will start from third on the grid.

However, non-broadcast footage shows Ocon passing Verstappen at the start of their final laps, before the Red Bull lunged the Alpine in at Turn 1.

Ocon: I had no choice

"The difference between me and him is that I have to do that lap because I had traffic in that first lap and if I don't do the second one, I'm out," Ocon told media including RacingNews365.

"He has plenty of pace, so he can afford not to do his second lap. But we were not respecting the delta."

Wary of the minimum lap time delta imposed by the FIA, Ocon passed a gaggle of cars including Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, and Pierre Gasly before charging past Verstappen.

"We had to go for the lap, we were plus on the [lap] delta, and there were three cars queuing. We had to go or we were going to be illegal, and I already got penalised last race for one of these things," he said.

"So it couldn't happen again. I had no choice, I had to go, so that was it. The difference between me and Max is he's third, and I'm 17th."

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