Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen have been long-time rivals since their junior days. Their rivalry stretches back right up till their karting stint. However, things came to a head during the 2018 Brazil Grand Prix.
The Red Bull Racing driver was lead when he came up to lap Esteban Ocon’s Racing Point. Unfortunately, the two collided and Verstappen spun, losing his victory to Lewis Hamilton. Of course, in the immediate aftermath, there was a very public spat fueled by adrenaline and fury.
The fight got so ugly that the FIA has to get between the warring duo. There was plenty of pushing an shoving before the two were separated but Ocon now wants to close everything and deal with each other professionally. “As a professional driver it is important not to cause any problems,” Ocon said when asked about the handshake. “What happened on the circuit last time happened, and we have to do it differently.”
Luckily, both drivers have since had the chance to cool down and reflect on their actions. With the Frenchman rejoining the grid in 2020, he found the perfect opportunity to close that chapter and he did it publicly.
The Renault driver chose to kiss and make up with the Dutchman during the official group photo. The photo op took place ahead of the winter test and Ocon lean forward and shook Verstappen’s hand.
To this day, Esteban Ocon continues to maintain his innocence, but confessed that there was some tension between them. He told the media, “There was some tension in the days that we had a fight, but there has always been respect between us and that is important.”
Hopefully, the two drivers start the year off on a clean slate and there is no drama between them anymore.