Verstappen loses Mexican podium after Vettel incident

Max Verstappen lost his podium finish in Mexico

Max Verstappen lost his podium finish in Mexico

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Max Verstappen was penalised five seconds while in the podium waiting area after an incident with Sebastian Vettel at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Dutchman locked his brakes going into the first corner with three laps to go while under pressure from the Ferrari driver and took to the grass to keep his third place.

Despite being told to give Vettel the place back over team radio, Verstappen remained out front, backing the Ferrari driver into team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in a bid to help him up from fifth place. But a late braking manoeuvre saw him lock up his tyres and make light contact with Vettel, dropping him back in the final two laps.

Verstappen would cross the line third behind race winner Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, but after arriving in the podium waiting room, Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty, dropping him to fifth behind Vettel and Ricciardo.

It was a disappointing end to what had promised to be a potentially race-winning weekend for Red Bull Racing. After showing excellent pace in qualifying and starting on the faster super-soft tyres, a safety car on the opening lap negated Ricciardo's strategy as he pitted on the opening lap, forcing him to come through the field.

His under-cut strategy worked though as he emerged third after the rest pitted later in the race. Verstappen's later stop though saw him catch his team-mate with ease. Ricciardo let Verstappen through to chase down Rosberg, but his challenge was short-lived.

In a bid to cover Vettel late in the day, Ricciardo was forced off his one-stop strategy and caught both Vettel and Verstappen at a great rate of knots in the closing stages, setting up the grandstand finish.

The collision between the former team-mates Ricciardo and Vettel is still under investigation.