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MADRID: Max Verstappen labelled Esteban Ocon a “f****** idiot” after the Red Bull driver was robbed of a brilliant victory following a sensational collision at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was in complete control of the race after passing both Mercedes and both Ferrari cars in a superb performance at the Interlagos circuit.
But it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed the 10th victory of his championship-winning campaign, after Verstappen was taken out of the lead when attempting to lap Force India’s Ocon.
Ocon, running way down the order, bizarrely raced wheel-to-wheel at 200mph with the leader before banging into the right-rear of Verstappen’s car through the Senna Esses.
The force of the hefty impact on lap 43 sent Verstappen into a spin, and with the Dutchman facing the wrong way, Hamilton sailed by to resume the lead.
Verstappen was now five seconds down on Hamilton, and – with a wounded car – he was unable to claw the Mercedes back in before he finished in second.
Ocon was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, the most severe punishment available to the stewards, but it will come as little consolation to a furious Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen finished third for Ferrari, but it was not enough to stop Hamilton’s Mercedes team from winning their fifth-consecutive constructors’ championship.
Hamilton started from pole position and made no mistake from his starting blocks as he won the race to the uphill opening left bend.
Behind, Sebastian Vettel got a decent getaway, too, but locked up his front-left tyre and lost second place to Valtteri Bottas.
It would be the precursor to a rotten afternoon for the German after he finished only sixth.
It was not long before Verstappen, the winner in Mexico a fortnight ago, was on the move from fifth on the grid.
Rafael Nadal crashed out to Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals on Saturday with the Spanish star admitting his 6-4, 6-2 loss was his “worst clay court match in 14 years”.
Phil Foden fired Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League as the young midfielder sealed a vital 1-0 win over Tottenham, while Brighton improved their survival prospects with a goalless draw at Wolves on Saturday.
India’s ace shooter and trailblazer Abhinav Bindra urged India to produce more heroes to inspire young aspirants for more glory at international competitions like Olympics and Common Wealth Games (CWG).
Steve Smith (59 not out) played a captain’s knock as Rajasthan Royals (RR) kept their play-off hopes alive after defeating Mumbai Indians (MI) by 5 wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Saturday.