Third place in the Mexican GP has changed for a second time after the FIA Stewards penalised Sebastian Vettel for his blocking move on Daniel Ricciardo in the late stages of the race.
The revised order sees Ricciardo third, Max Verstappen fourth, and Vettel fifth.
Vettel had finished fourth on the road, but moved up to third when Max Verstappen was given a five seconds penalty for gaining an advantage by going off track. Vettel was thus able to go to the podium to collect the trophy.
However after the race a fresh investigation began into his defensive move ahead of Ricciardo, when the Australian tried to get past on lap 70. The FIA deemed that Vettel made an “abnormal” change of direction in the braking area that was “potentially dangerous.” He was penalised 10 seconds and given penalty points.
The decision follows a rules clarification made by Charlie Whiting in Austin in the light of Verstappen’s moves in Hungary and Japan. The decision reads as follows:
The stewards paid particular attention to the Race Directors Notes from the US Grand Prix (v2) and from this event (point 18). Notwithstanding the F1 Commission directive to “let the drivers race” we note the concern that has been expressed about manoeuvrers involving a change of direction under braking as expressed at the Drivers Briefing at the US Grand Prix and in the Race Director’s Notes from the US Grand Prix and this event.
The telemetry and video evidence shows that the driver of Car 5 did change direction under braking.
Article 27.5 and the Race Director’s Notes have essentially three criteria that determine a breach
1) Driving in a manner potentially dangerous
2) An abnormal change of direction
3) Another driver having to take evasive action
The video footage, including the close circuit footage, the broadcast vision, both drivers’ on board cameras plus the telemetry show that there was an abnormal change of direction by Car 5 and this was considered to be potentially dangerous in view of the proximity of the wheels of each car.
The video evidence clearly shows that Car 3 had to take evasive action as a result.
Accordingly as all three criteria have been met, the driver of Car 5 is guilty of a breach of Article 27.5