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“Still Has Blood in His Eyes”: Consistent Attack on Esteban Ocon Takes “Bully” Max Verstappen to Failure List

Published 11/21/2023, 3:15 AM EST

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In the high-octane world of Formula 1, split-second decisions can make or break a race. Drivers are often celebrated for their aggressive racing styles. However, there exists a fine line between determination and recklessness. According to Valerio Barretta, the journalist for Formula Passion, Max Verstappen’s recent performance at the Las Vegas Grand Prix has thrust him into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The Dutch driver’s aggressive move on Esteban Ocon has raised concerns about sportsmanship and the ethics of his on-track maneuvers.

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Max Verstappen, renowned for his fearless approach and aggressive driving, is a force to be reckoned with on the Formula 1 circuit. However, according to Barretta, the Las Vegas Grand Prix showcased a different side of Verstappen; one that borders on bullying. It’s not uncommon for drivers to employ strategic aggression. He also believes when that aggression turns into a consistent targeting of a fellow racer, it raises ethical concerns.

Max Verstappen’s aggressive streak


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The incident in question occurred during the race. Verstappen, seemingly blinded by his thirst for victory, aggressively pursued Ocon. In fact, Barretta opines that Verstappen, despite being recently crowned a three-time world champion, “Still has blood in his eyes”. Blinded by this blood, he made questionable moves that went beyond the boundaries of fair play. The relentless pressure on Ocon raises the question: Is Verstappen’s hunger for success compromising his judgment on the track? This was enough for Valerio Barretta to place him on the failure list. He said in his column for Formula Passion, “The excuse for putting him there is that by now he has got it into his head that he has to swallow everything up, as if overtaking were treason. I understand the aggressiveness at the start (but why did the greats of the past leave you something?) But bully Ocon because he got in front of him on the starting lap?”

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The responsibility for maintaining fair play and ensuring the safety of drivers falls on the shoulders of the FIA. However, the FIA’s oversight during the Las Vegas Grand Prix has come under scrutiny. Stefano Domenicali, the head of Formula 1, issued a response to the controversy around the Las Vegas Grand Prix. However, Valerio immediately suggests that this response was lengthy and convoluted. He also notes that it lacked a crucial element—an apology. This failure in communication and crisis management highlights a concerning aspect of the sport’s governance.


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‘Proved You Wrong’: Lewis Hamilton Taunts Max Verstappen for Disgracing Las Vegas GP

Valerio reads between the lines on Domenicali’s silence. He heavily implies that the lack of swift actions against Verstappen indicates a blindspot on FIA’s commitment to maintain F1’s integrity. The FIA’s primary role is to ensure the safety of drivers, fair competition, and the overall success of Formula 1. However, the recent events in Las Vegas, he implies, suggest that there might be a gap between intent and execution.

Verstappen’s placement on the failure list

Formula 1 is an unparalleled spectacle thanks to the thrill of competitive racing. Naturally, the pursuit of victory is inherent in every driver. However, it should never come at the cost of compromising the essence of the sport. Formula 1 is about skill, strategy, and fair play on the track.


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In the quest for grandeur, the Las Vegas Grand Prix brought to light the potential pitfalls. Verstappen’s actions were perhaps born out of an insatiable desire to win. However, it also raised pertinent questions about the ethical standards upheld at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Max Verstappen, a three-time world champion, finds himself on the failure list not for lack of skill or speed but for a perceived lack of sportsmanship. The FIA’s oversight and Domenicali’s silence further compound the issues raised during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.


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Watch this Story: Lewis Hamilton remains unwavering in his determination to halt Max Verstappen’s dominance, despite enduring significant neglect from the FIA

As Formula 1 moves forward, it must reflect on these incidents, addressing the balance between competitiveness and ethical racing conduct to ensure the continued success and integrity of the sport. The Las Vegas Grand Prix serves as a cautionary tale—a reminder that, in the pursuit of victory, the essence of Formula 1 must remain untarnished.

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Written by:

Anirudh Kidambi


One take at a time

Hey there! I am Anirudh, your seasoned wordsmith. With over three years in the game, I am not just a writer, I am a passionate scribe with an insatiable curiosity that fuels my every word. My passion for American sports centers around Indycar, a love I discovered in 2018.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare