Red Bull and Fer­rari mix it up again in Mex­ico City

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The Mex­i­can Grand Prix threw more heat into an al­ready spicy ri­valry be­tween Red Bull and Fer­rari.

Red Bull driv­ers Max Ver­stap­pen and Daniel Ric­cia­rdo were both en­gaged in late-race du­els with Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel that re­sulted in penal­ties, two driv­ers be­ing bumped from the podium and plenty of curs­ing.

All of it nearly over­shad­owed Lewis Hamil­ton’s crit­i­cal vic­tory Sun­day as he chases Mercedes team­mate Nico Ros­berg for the sea­son cham­pi­onship.

At the age of 19, Ver­stap­pen has stormed through his sec­ond For­mula One sea­son with his first ca­reer vic­tory, five more podium fin­ishes and ag­gres­sive moves that have drawn com­plaints from other teams - no­tably Fer­rari - and safety warn­ings from race of­fi­cials. That suc­cess helped push Red Bull past Fer­rari into sec­ond place in the team cham­pi­onship, pil­ing more frus­tra­tion onto a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son for the Ital­ian team. The lat­est flare-ups started when Vet­tel and Ver­stap­pen were bat­tling for third in Mex­ico City.

Vet­tel tried to pass Ver­stap­pen head­ing into a turn af­ter the long straight at the Au­to­dromo Her­manos Ro­driguez. Ver­stap­pen swung wide through the grass - sim­i­lar to what Hamil­ton did on the open­ing lap - and held po­si­tion. Vet­tel was fu­ri­ous that Ver­stap­pen made an il­le­gal move. The Red Bull team even ad­vised Ver­stap­pen to yield po­si­tion to the Fer­rari. Ver­stap­pen ig­nored the call. Vet­tel cursed in his car ra­dio and shouted, “He has to let me go! Move! Move for God’s sake!” Af­ter the check­ered flag, Vet­tel drove up be­side Ver­stap­pen and wagged his fin­ger. Ver­stap­pen re­sponded by shak­ing his fist.

The teenager went all the way to the podium-fin­isher’s cool-down room be­fore learn­ing that race of­fi­cials pe­nal­ized him five sec­onds for leav­ing the track and gain­ing an ad­van­tage. Bumped to fifth, Ver­stap­pen stormed off as Vet­tel was brought in for the post-race cham­pagne cel­e­bra­tion. But Vet­tel’s smiles wouldn’t last.—AP

MEX­ICO CITY: Red Bull Racing’s Aus­tralian driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, pow­ers his car dur­ing the For­mula One Mex­ico Grand Prix at the Her­manos Ro­driguez cir­cuit in Mex­ico City, on Sun­day. —AP

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