Ricciardo promoted to third as Vettel penalised by FIA

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

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Ricciardo promoted to third as Vettel penalised by FIA

  1. peterg

    Well at last the stewards are applying a “rule” with something meaningful. I expect all drivers (including young Max) will see that there are consequences for moving under braking.

  2. GeorgeK

    I suspect Vettel’s foul language on his radio had some bearing on this penalty as well.

    Vettel is a master at donning a mask during interviews that portray a reasonable image; his radio messages, especially under pressure, show his true lack of character. Who can forget his Red Bull screeching, “Get him off me! Get him off mee!!” When Weber was pressing him for wins.

    • peterg

      Everybody knows the FIA monitors the radios to catch “coaching”, if Seb wants to have a rant, mentioning Charlie Whiting by name…….wait until your back in the garage with your team.

  3. JETWAKE

    Vettel really needs to shut his mouth and drive as hard as Lewis Hamilton.

  4. Mick

    I’m still not sure why Hamilton’s first corner off track excursion wasn’t looked at by the stewards. He wasn’t avoiding a collision, he totally got his braking wrong and would have lost a place or two if he hadn’t cut the corner.

    • Off Track

      put it down to the bureaucrat’s eternal fear of intervening in a championship battle and of hindering Hamilton in particular. Oh the backlash! can you imagine it?

      • GeorgeK

        Spot on OT. If things turn out as expected (Nico as WDC) I can predict Lewis’ continuing laments over reliability “depriving” him of yet another WDC. Not conspiracy, but general lamenting over bad luck, implying Nico is undeserving.

  5. Off Track

    No word yet about any penalty for FOM, for deciding to broadcast Vettel’s radio infringement and thus helping him commit the offence.

  6. peterg

    Regarding Vettel’s tirade on the radio, those communications are first heard by the FIA to check for driver “coaching” and then released by the broadcaster after a delay.

    Ordinarily a driver swearing on the radio would not be a huge problem, in fact it is common, but Vettel was attacking the umpire. I can’t think of any sport where you are can get away with abusing the referee when you’re on the field!

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