Hamilton wins in Mexico as Vettel fumes
Lewis Hamilton has prevailed in a Mercedes one-two as the Mexican Formula 1 Grand Prix erupted into a fiery finish.
While Hamilton has reduced the gap to Nico Rosberg to 19 points with his 51st career win heading into the penultimate round, the race for the final podium spot proved to be explosive.
Red Bull charger Max Verstappen was holding the final spot of the podium but he came under immense pressure in the closing laps from Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
With three laps remaining in the 71-lap affair Verstappen locked his brakes before spearing onto the grass at Turn 1 and seemingly gaining more of an advantage over Vettel.
The Dutch tyro then held third position to the flag with Vettel continuing to project obscenities on his radio, believing the positions should be reversed.
Stewards then issued a five second penalty to Verstappen, dropping him to fifth after the flag which promoted Vettel to third and Ricciardo to fourth.
In his fury before the penalty came down, Vettel blasted a message over his radio to Race Director Charlie Whiting.
“You know what, here’s a message for Charlie, f… off, f… off,” Vettel fumed as he was told by Maurizio Arrivabene to calm down.
Later Vettel said: “He (Verstappen) left the track and didn’t move so you can understand why I was annoyed.
“What a turnaround. I was really disappointed when I crossed the line and all of a sudden I was told to come up here (podium).”
On the penultimate lap Ricciardo went for a pass on Vettel at Turn 4 with the pair coming into contact after the German appeared to move under braking, causing friction between the drivers.
Ricciardo later expanded on the incident saying Vettel did not deserve to be standing on the podium.
As Mercedes held sway as ever at the front, there was an absorbing scrap unfolding between Felipe Massa (Williams) in ninth and Sergio Perez (Force India).
The battle raged until the flag with Massa prevailing.
Kimi Raikkonen was sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas.
Seconds after the start Rosberg ran out of room when Verstappen made contact with the German who ran wide in the first turn with the incident coming under investigation, however the stewards took no action.
Behind them Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein’s race was over after contact with Esteban Gutierrez (Haas) with stewards deciding not to level blame with the former’s race over
Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) was given a 5s time penalty for causing Fernando Alonso to run out of room before the Spaniard was forced to desperately gather his McLaren up and save it from a wild spin.
The penultimate round of the 21-race F1 World Championship is scheduled for Interlagos, Brazil, on November 13.
Result: Mexican Grand Prix
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||71||20.85s|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||71||21.32s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||71||58.89s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||71||1:16.79s|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|13||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|14||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||70||1 Lap|
|15||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|16||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||70||1 Lap|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|20||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|21||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||69||2 Laps|