Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner believes Esteban Ocon got off when Max Verstappen provoked a heated exchange with the Force India driver after the race.

Verstappen accused Ocon of pitching him into a spin and out of the lead of the Brazilian Grand Prix on lap 44 when the Frenchman’s made an ill-fated attempt to unlap himself.

The contact damaged the Red Bull’s floor and likely deprived Verstappen of a race win at Interlagos where he ultimately had to settle for second behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.

    Verstappen lashes out at ‘idiot’ Ocon, and it gets physical!

Horner predictably defended his driver after the post-race spat.

“I think Max has been pretty restrained, it cost him a grand prix victory,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“He’s driven his heart out with a damaged car – Esteban was lucky to get away with a push to be honest.

“Emotions are running high and I told him to just get yourself under control on the cool down lap,” Horner added.

“He’s lost a victory through no fault of his own today.”

Horner admitted he was at a loss to understand why Ocon – in the role of the backmarker – had insisted on going wheel-to-wheel with the race leader.

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“The lead car has just lapped the Force India and it’s clear you shouldn’t interfere, as a lapped car, with the leader,” he added.

“What on earth Ocon was thinking there, it just beggars belief. Why on earth is he racing the leader?

“He’s a lap down, he doesn’t have the pace and he’s chucked the car up the inside there. It just makes absolutely no sense at all.”

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