Australian Formula One Daniel Ricciardo has been promoted to third at the Mexican Grand Prix, after Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen both copped post-race time penalties.
Ricciardo crossed the line in fifth, but was initially elevated to fourth when his Red Bull teammate Verstappen copped a five-second penalty for holding his spot ahead of Vettel after going off track on the fourth last lap.
Vettel assumed the youngster’s spot on the podium, only to later cop a 10-second penalty for under-breaking in an incident involving Ricciardo, which elevated the Australian to third and dropped the German back to fifth behind Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton has kept into team-mate Nico Rosberg’s F1 championship lead with victory at the Mexico Grand Prix, but the drama was further back in the field.
Young Red Bull star Max Verstappen crossed the line third, but a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage meant he was relegated to fifth.
That pushed Sebastian Vettel into third and Verstappen’s Australian team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, up to fourth.
Immediately after the race, Verstappen stood awkwardly alongside frosty Mercedes pair Hamilton and Rosberg in the podium room before seeing his time penalty take effect on the screen.
The 19-year-old then took his leave before Ferrari’s Vettel jogged into the room as the official third-place winner.
“We know Max’s moves have been a bit questionable and I guess that was the same case today,” Ricciardo said.
But, while watching Vettel celebrate on the podium, Ricciardo let his feelings be known in the post-race interview.
“He’s smiling now, for me he doesn’t deserve to be up there.”
Vettel was fuming on the track saying he was going to hit someone and wagging his finger, delivering a message to race director Charlie Whiting: “F*** off. Honestly f*** off.”
He was talking on race radio about Verstappen when Ricciardo attempted to overtake him on the inside and, in Ricciardo’s view, Vettel closed the gap.
The Australian was furious with the move, saying he felt he had “won the chess match” and Vettel should have had to let him through.
Ricciardo also said Hamilton deserved a penalty for cutting a corner in similar fashion to Verstappen on an earlier corner and the teenager agreed.
“Lewis ran off, he gained a massive advantage … I didn’t even gain an advantage, so I think it’s ridiculous,” Verstappen said.
But, in typical Ricciardo style, the smile was still there.
“I’m glad I got to battle. I’m glad I got to bang a couple of wheels,” he said.
“Still a fun race, but would love to be up there,” he added.