Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in Sunday’s 2016 Mexican Grand Prix, but was stripped of his third-place podium following the dramatic outing to Mexico City. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the race, finishing ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg for the second straight race and keeping his driver’s championship hopes alive.
Vettel crossed the finish line fourth Sunday, with Verstappen physically ending the race in third. However stewards then penalized the Dutchman post-race following an incident on Lap 68 when he ran wide in Turn 1 defending against Vettel and cut through the grass at Turn 2. He was told to forgo the position to the Ferrari but never did, so Vettel was awarded the podium.
There was to be three third place finishers in Mexico, though. After reviewing the footage, stewards hit Vettel with a five-second race penalty for driving ‘dangerously or erratically’ while defending against Ricciardo late in the race, bumping him to sixth and Ricciardo to third. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene described the penalty as “too harsh and somehow unfair.”
As the Red Bull’s and Vettel fought for third, the two Mercedes ran a rather uneventful race. Despite running wide and across the grass on Lap at Turn 1, pole-sitter Hamilton led Rosberg for the entire race. Rosberg even began to feel the pressure from Verstappen, who began to close in on the German whilst on newer tires before Rosberg began to make up ground late in the race. He crossed the finish line 8.354 seconds behind Hamilton.
With a 19 point lead, all Rosberg has to do to lock-down the 2016 Formula 1 driver’s championship is finish second to his teammate in the final 2 races of the season. Click here for full results from the 2016 Mexican GP.