Red Bull and Ferrari mix it up again in Mexico City
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