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Sebastian Vettel sympathises with Max Verstappen's emotions after Brazil

ABU DHABI -- Sebastian Vettel has offered his opinion on the off-track altercation between Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix, saying it is hard for non-racing drivers to understand the emotional rollercoaster a grand prix weekend provides.

After Esteban Ocon took Verstappen out of the lead of the race in Brazil, Verstappen tracked down the Frenchman after the chequered flag and repeatedly shoved him in the chest before storming off. The incident was investigated by the stewards of the race and Verstappen was given a penalty of "public service" -- the nature of which has yet to be determined by the FIA.

Asked for his opinion on the incident, Vettel initially said: "I mean, I have an opinion and I'm not sure I should say what I think."

Vettel was the subject of an FIA investigation last year after he drove his Ferrari into the side of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes under a Safety Car in Baku, and pushed to give his opinion on the events in Brazil, he said it is hard for those who do not race to understand the emotions at play during and after a race.

"I think in the end it's very simple," he added. "I think we have emotions, we are human beings and emotions go both ways. They go full of joy when something good happens and you're happy and they probably swing the other way if you're not happy or upset.

"So I think it's clear that we're here to fight for something that means the world to us, I don't know how much it means to you because to you most of you, for people watching, it's a show they're watching. For the people reporting about the show it's their job. For us it's a job, but it's our lives and we all started racing when we were small kids in go karts and to be in a Formula One car is the dream that we all had to race a Formula One car and then to fight for wins, so that's something big at stake.

"It's not like you get a piece of cake when you've done well and you don't when you didn't, so there's a lot at stake and I think that explains the emotions and, as I said, I think emotions are a part of sports I think they will always be. Then obviously you have certain situations that give you the opportunity to talk about it a lot afterwards, I've been in that situation as well, but I think for us it's very clear that the pendulum swings both ways."