“THE EMO­TION WAS RUN­NING HIGH”

Pe­nalised pair lash out at each other af­ter tem­pes­tu­ous Mex­i­can GP

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

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.”

Pho­tos: LAT

Vet­tel ranted on the ra­dio Ver­stap­pen fin­ished in third

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