“THE EMOTION WAS RUNNING HIGH”
Penalised pair lash out at each other after tempestuous Mexican GP
Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have taken more swipes at each other after clashing in a turbulent Mexican GP, in which both drivers were penalised.
Vettel was angered when Verstappen refused to give up third place after running wide and cutting the first corner during the closing stages of the race when under pressure from the German.
Red Bull’s pit wall suggested Verstappen hand the place to Vettel, but the Dutchman refused and instead continued to defend, allowing his Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to attack Vettel for fourth.
Vettel sent a series of angry radio messages to his Ferrari team during the closing laps, including shouting ‘here’s a message for Charlie [Whiting, race director] – F**k Off ! F**k Off !’ as he crossed the line in fourth.
Verstappen initially headed to the podium, where he found out he’d been handed a time penalty for cutting the corner, promoting Vettel to third. However, the German was later called to the stewards and penalised 10 seconds for moving in the braking zone during his clash with Ricciardo. The Australian inherited third as a result, with Verstappen fourth.
Vettel blasted Verstappen after the race, and also said he apologised to Whiting for his outburst. “I went to see him [Whiting] right after the race, but I don’t understand why you are making a fuss and asking questions [about his abusive language],” said Vettel.
“It was not the right thing to say, equally in my defence emotions and adrenaline is pumping high so I don’t understand why you are trying to push me into a corner about it. Out of respect I told him [Whiting] what I did. He is aware, and that’s it.
“With Max, I was quicker and closing the gap, got into DRS, put him under a lot of pressure, he made a mistake. It was clear that he should have moved over. He didn’t move.”
Vettel and Verstappen exchanged hand gestures on the cool-down lap, before Verstappen countered: “I don’t know how many times he is using bad language in general. I think he has to go back to school to get some language. I will speak to him because this is ridiculous the way he is handling it.
“He’s always so frustrated, the whole weekend he’s shouting on the radio. He’s just a very frustrated guy at the moment.”
Both drivers also disagreed with their respective race penalties. Verstappen said of his: “It’s ridiculous. Mine was similar to when Lewis [Hamilton] ran off [at the start], he gained a massive advantage. OK, if they don’t give a penalty for that, don’t give me a penalty at the end.”
Ferrari team head Maurizio Arrivabene said: “We gained a podium and they removed it with bureaucracy – fantastic. When they give a five or 10-second penalty you can’t appeal. You just have to listen to what they decide.”
Vettel ranted on the radio Verstappen finished in third