Charlie Whiting has criticised Esteban Ocon after he was "fighting" against Max Verstappen to unlap himself in the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Frenchman received a 10 second stop/go penalty for his collision with the Dutchman.
The crash virtually ended Verstappen's chances of winning the Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton took the lead. The young Red Bull driver completed the race and finished on the podium in second. The Force India driver finished 14th in a disappointing day for the team.
Ocon explained how he's allowed to overtake to un-lap himself which forced Whiting to make a comment about the incident. The race director said: “He’s absolutely allowed to un-lap himself. That’s clear. It’s happened many times in the past.
"Of course, you expect it to be done safely, but more to the point, I think it should be done cleanly and absolutely without fighting. You shouldn’t be fighting to get past. If he’s got the pace, then normally one would expect Red Bull to say Ocon’s got the pace, just let him through, that sort of thing. But it seemed that he just went for it, and it was just a bit unfortunate that he decided to fight for it which was wholly unacceptable.”
Whiting went on to confirm that he backs the stewards' decision to give Ocon the second hardest penalty available. However, Whiting claims the fact that Verstappen lost the race as a result of the crash means nothing when calculating the severity.
“I don’t think it makes any difference that he was the leader,” Whiting reasoned. “It makes it worse in a lot of peoples’ eyes, but as far as the stewards are concerned, that doesn’t matter," Whiting concluded.