OK, first thing’s first: if this post is going to have spoilers for the Mexico GP so you’ve been warned. If you have DVR’d the race and plan on watching it later then now would be a good time to read another post. If you just want to know who won then check out our quick results post. Now that we’re all on the same page lets get into this…
DUDE HOW CRAZY WAS THAT RACE ENDING?!
Wait, wait if you don’t know what I’m talking about let me catch you up. The Mexico GP is coming to a close. Lewis Hamilton has a massive lead over his team mate Nico Rosberg and they are pretty much a lock for a Mercedes 1-2 finish. Meanwhile, young Red Bull ace Max Verstappen is putting massive pressure on Sebastian Vettel who was in P3. Eventually Max makes his move and passes Vettel for the position.
However, Max couldn’t completely make the pass stick as he and Vettel approached turn one, Max locked up his brakes and was cut the corner but stayed ahead of Vettel who did not cut. At this point it was assumed that Max would give up his position to Vettel. You know what they say about assuming… Despite his team telling him over the radio that he is probably going to have to let Vettel pass Max stays put, causing Vettel to flip out over his radio. The thing is, despite the team telling him he may have to let Vettel pass, there was no word from any race official and in racing you don’t let anyone pass unless you’re told to.
Vettel is losing his proverbial **** on his radio and on live television his team tries to explain Charlie Whiting’s (the official F1 race director AKA the one person you don’t want to piss off) reasoning for not stepping in. Immediately Vettel interrupts his team and essentially says that Charlie Whiting can go “F**k off”. You can hear all this in the actual audio (with cursing bleeped) in the video below.
The race ends and Lewis, Nico, and Max do the parc ferme thing then head to the green room to get ready for the podium ceremony. Then (again on live TV), word comes out that Max is getting a 5 second penalty for cutting turn 1, which effectively hands third place to Sebastian Vettel. Vettel then has to run down to the podium ceremony to partake in the celebration. Crazy right? Well wait, because there’s more!
Hours later, F1 race director Charlie Whiting hands down another penalty to none other than Sebastian Vettel for “erratic driving“. This is claimed to be a result of Vettel moving twice under braking while trying to defend against Daniel Riccardo. According to the rules, one move under braking is ok but two is a definite no-no. While it can be argued that Vettel’s second move was more of a incredibly slight twitch, I’m sure that ol’ Charlie wasn’t really in the mood to let Vettel slide after the Ferrari driver basically cussed him out on international TV.
Vettel’s 10 second penalty pushed him down to fifth, placed Max Verstappen in fourth, and graduated Daniel Riccardo to the podium. DRAMA!
At first I blamed this whole fiasco on the F1 race officials because I thought that if they had just told Max to let Vettel pass as soon as he cut the corner, none of this craziness would have happened (or maybe less craziness). However, I was reminded by the NBC Sports crew that there is a rule in the books that any major infraction that occurs during the closing laps of the race (this all happened within the last 5 laps) will only be investigated after the race has concluded.
With that being the case, it all comes back to the actions of the drivers: Max’s kamikaze move on Vettel, Vettel’s potty mouth, and Vettel’s “erractic driving”. While it all pretty much sucked for Max and Seb, I had a kick watching it!
I can’t wait to see how Red Bull and Ferrari treat each other at the next race in Brazil!