Max Verstappen gets 'public service' punishment for pushing Esteban Ocon

Max Verstappen will perform two days of "public service" as punishment for his post-race altercation with rival driver Esteban Ocon following Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was found guilty of performing an "act prejudicial to the interests of the motorsport" after he retaliated to an on-track incident by tracking down Ocon and physically confronting him after the race. The altercation was filmed by French TV cameras, and although it was not clear what the two drivers said to each other before the dispute became physical, Verstappen clearly shoved Ocon in the chest three times.

Both drivers were called to the race stewards to explain the incident later that evening, and the four-person panel found that Verstappen's actions had been in breach of the FIA's International Sporting Code. However, instead of issuing a sporting penalty -- an option that was available to the stewards -- they handed down a punishment of two days public service under the watch of the FIA.

"The stewards reviewed video evidence from the FIA's CCTV Cameras and heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen), the driver of car 31 (Esteban Ocon) and the team representatives," the stewards' statement said.

"The driver, Max Verstappen, entered the FIA Weighbridge Garage, proceeded directly to driver Esteban Ocon and, following a few words, started an altercation, pushing or hitting Ocon forcefully several times in the chest. The stewards held a hearing, in which both drivers acted appropriately and cooperated with the stewards. The stewards understood from Max Verstappen that he was extremely upset by the incident on track during the race and accepted his explanation that it was not his original intent to strike Ocon, but that he was "triggered" and caused him to lose his temper.

"While sympathetic to Verstappen's passion, the stewards determined that it is the obligation of sportsmen at this level to act appropriately and as role models to other drivers at all levels and found that Verstappen failed in this respect.

"The stewards therefore ordered that Max Verstappen is required to perform two days of public service at the direction of the FIA within six months of the incident."

The on-track collision between the two drivers occurred as Ocon attempted to unlap himself from Verstappen on lap 44. As the Force India driver positioned himself on the inside of Turn 2, the two drivers made contact and spun to either side of the track. Verstappen lost the lead of the race as a result and Ocon was given a ten-second stop-go penalty for causing the collision.