The last spot on the podium for the Formula One Mexican Grand Prix must be a revolving door instead of the usual step. First, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen lost third place for taking a shortcut to keep his position, giving the podium spot to Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. Hilariously, Vettel later lost third place for violating the new “Verstappen Rule.”
The rule change that’s been widely nicknamed the “Verstappen Rule” was put in place at the United States Grand Prix to prevent drivers from moving to block under braking—as Verstappen gained a reputation for doing this season.
(Skip to 3 minutes in for the move.)
Vettel’s move under braking to defend against Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo rightfully angered Red Bull into lodging a protest after the race, per Crash.net. The stewards determined that Vettel had made an illegal move under Article 27.5 and the Race Directors’ notes.
Vettel was handed a ten-second penalty, dropping him to fifth, Ricciardo to third, and Verstappen to fourth, according to Motorsport.com. Vettel also received two penalty points, which stay on a driver’s Super Licence for one year. (Twelve penalty points in one year trigger an automatic one-race suspension.)
(Skip ahead to 0:26 for Vettel’s initial reaction to the race ending.)
Of course, Vettel’s salty language about FIA race director Charlie Whiting and cool-down-lap gesture-filled outburst towards Verstappen have also come under fire, so we’ll see if he’ll get in any further trouble from the Mexican Grand Prix.
Here’s Seb’s angry conversation with his race engineer on his cool-down lap, as quoted by Crash.net:
[Vettel:] Move, move. For fuck’s sake. He [Verstappen]’s a fuck… that’s what he is. I mean am I the only one or are you not seeing what I am seeing? He is just backing me up into Ricciardo? For fuck’s sake.
[Ferrari race engineer:] Charlie said [inaudible]…
[Vettel:] Here is a message for Charlie: Fuck off! Fuck off! Honestly. I mean honestly, I am going to hit someone. I think I have a puncture, rear left [after Turn 4 incident with Daniel Ricciardo].
[Ferrari race engineer:] Tyres are fine, tyres are fine.
[Vettel:] He has to give me the position. End of the story.
[Ferrari race engineer:] Charlie says no.
[Vettel:] Well here’s a message for Charlie. Fuck off! Honestly, fuck off.
[Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene:] Sebastian, Sebastian calm down. They are under investigation. We know it is not fair, but calm down. Put your head down and we talk afterwards.
[Vettel:] Okay, copy. Received.
Vettel apologized to Whiting for the outburst after the post-race press conference, per Motorsport.com.
Regardless, the fact that shoey aficionado Daniel Ricciardo now finished on the podium means that we should all do a shoey. Major bonus points if your Halloween costume tonight involves drinking out of a shoe.