Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Ferrari complain podium was “taken away by bureaucracy”

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene claimed a podium finish for his team was “taken away by bureaucracy” following Sebastian Vettel’s penalty.

Vettel finished fourth on the road at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez but was promoted to third place when Max Verstappen was given a five-second penalty. However a few hours later Vettel was given a ten-second penalty which relegated him to fifth, putting Daniel Ricciardo on the rostrum.

Start Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
2016 Mexican Grand Prix in pictures
“Today could have felt special,” Arrivabene complained, saying the team “fully deserved this podium, which was taken away by bureaucracy.”

“The whole team had showed great stamina by staying united and focused in a difficult moment. Our strategy had made it possible to make good progress through the race and both drivers did a very good job.”

“Unfortunately, we were penalised by stewards’ un-appeal-able decision which, in my opinion, is too harsh and somehow unfair,” Arrivabene added. The rules do not allow for penalties handed out in the race to be appealed against.

Vettel was penalised for changing his line in a braking zone while under attack from Ricciardo. “I respect him a lot,” said Vettel, “it is never ideal when you touch.”

“On my defence, I was fighting hard, and trying to give him some space, which I think I did.”

Vettel was originally promoted to third position after Verstappen went off the track while under pressure from the Ferrari.

“We were quicker, so we put Verstappen under pressure,” he said. “For sure it was not easy to pass, but he did a mistake, cut the track and didn’t give the position back even if he was told to do so.”

The radio messages broadcast by FOM during the race indicate Verstappen was told he may have to relinquish the position but after the Red Bull driver said “let me know” he was advised “OK, stay there”. Ferrari then told Vettel twice that Verstappen had been told to let him through. A furious Vettel then swore repeatedly on the radio, including at race director Charlie Whiting.

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Ferrari complain podium was “taken away by bureaucracy””

  1. Nothing but the word circus describes the aftermath of the race.

    This is exactly what Bernie means when he says sports entertainment that it’s being lapped up as what the sport needs is appalling.

    1. exactly why MR E installed his man in FIA decision making process places, when MR E and his men are gone from F1, most of F1 problems will follow them out the door.

    2. Unfortunately I had to “watch” the race on live timing, but I don’t think I missed anything since the aftermath was just brilliant. Vettel with all his complaining about Verstappen moving in the braking zone does exactly that and gets penalized for it and ends up behind both Red Bulls.

      That’s just pure entertainment right there. Brilliant!

      1. Had to watch the race on live timing, but totally agrees with the stewards rulling that Vettel moved under braking. Wow, just wow, totally not biased.

      2. Don’t get me wrong, I agree for sure that the interest and intrigue generated is brilliant. Just unfortunately for entirely the wrong reasons. More than half the situations that arose were born out of poor stewarding, rather than genuine competition.

      3. I admire your perseverance. It is difficult when F1 isn’t on Free to Air TV. Don’t think you are the only person who has watched a race via Live Timing, I know someone who did it for a lot of one year.

  2. Although Ferrari is right regarding bureaucracy being wrong, the penalty definitely wasn’t. To me, the fact Vettel got 10 seconds and Verstappen 5 was fair, since Verstappen just kept his position by going off track but didn’t do anything dangerous. On the other hand: Vettel did move twice in succession during one braking manoeuvre and in this into Ricciardo’s racing line which was a bit of a dangerous move.

    However, this doesn’t change the fact that Mercedes got away with everything this race, since Hamilton definitely wouldn’t have kept his position had he regained the track before turn 2. His route was not only at least 20-30 meters shorter, he was forced to do so by his own braking error. I’m really surprised Rosberg didn’t say anything about it on the radio. Talking about Rosberg: he needed to avoid Verstappen, so his going off track was more questionable, Hamiltons was clearly “gaining an advantage”.

    1. I believe context needs to be taken into account. Sebastian shouldn’t have been in the position to defend from Dan in the first place, and he was pushed into it quite a bit faster with some help from Max’s driving after the incident.
      Even trying to be objective, it is difficult to believe Max didn’t brake early on purpose, and that would have made Seb even madder.
      The german needs to control his temper, it has always been better for him in terms of performance when he manages to stay calm, but he simply doesn’t seem to be capable of that.
      I think it would have been fair, under the circumstances, to give VES and VET the same punishment, even though their faults were not equal. It doesn’t seem fair to me to have Dan in third, but I guess he deserves it after his teammate, and then his old teammate made successive mistakes.
      I would have liked seeing Seb pass Max at the turn, and then just see how it all would have ended – if Dan would be able to pass an agressive Max, and then still catch Seb.
      I guess what I am saying is that what Max did ruined the fair outcome of the race.

      On another point, I really don’t feel that what Seb did to Dan should warrent a penalty. I understand it does now, within the regulations, but maybe they should be more specific. Seb didn’t close the door, he gave him space, and it wasn’t a sudden, thus dangerous, movement. I can remember quite a few (first lap, mostly) incidents when Hamilton just pushed Rosberg out of the track – I think that not giving room that way is worse than what Seb did.

      1. Yeah but the context is not like that. If Vettel would have been side by side into the corner and Verstappen would then cut the corner and end up infront of Vettel, I would agree with you. But that wasn’t the case. Verstappen was in front, cuts the corner and is still in front. Nothings changed, except for maybe the gap but thats in that moment not clear. So in that moment its not clear for Verstappen what he needs to do. He has every right to hold on to that place if he thinks he didnt gain an advantage, and for the stewards to decide its the right decision.
        And if you really want to talk about context, Verstappen saw Hamilton cut the corner, so he can think: ow the stewards may allow it if i happens only once. Thats also context.

        I also believe they should have gotten the sams punishment. So vettel p4 and verstappen p5.

        Also, they do punish now for pushing people off track. See Alonso and Sainz this race with Sainz getting a penalty. Vettel was one of the people wanting the no moving under braking rule.
        Just watch the footage, Verstappen takes the normal line into that corner, Vettel also goes for that line but then in the braking zone, decides to cut back which is not allowed anymore.

        1. Agree with most of that although I always have issues with the whole “gaining an advantage” concept. For me, if you go off the track, it should take longer to get from point A to point B than if you remain on the track and it was clearly demonstrated in Mexico that this isn’t the case.

          1. @petebaldwin They should make it everywhere like the last chicane of Montreal, install a bollard somewhere around which a driver must go through so that he definitely does not gain an advantage.

          2. @petebaldwin Agree completely. Hey I’m not all bent out of shape about all the forgiving runoffs they have now at various tracks, because I get that people were frustrated at dangerous gravel flipping cars, or bogging a car down and ending it’s day just for a small error, but when going off track causes no penalty in time, that doesn’t seem right either. I just wonder if they shouldn’t give a 2 or 3 second time penalty at the end of the race for situations like this where they feel the runoff needs be this forgiving. After all, LH locked up. Did he do that because he knew how forgiving running wide would be? Perhaps. With a penalizing runoff he would have either been penalized by locking up and going off, or he wouldn’t have dared lock up. But we’ve seen LH do this before. He likes to overcook it and claim innocence due to understeer, like he didn’t create the understeer to begin with by overcooking it.

        2. I agree that Max acted correctly AFTER the incident. He shouldn’t give up a place voluntarily. But the incident itself is what caused the whole confusion. It would have been fair, and in other circuits normal, for Seb to jump to 3rd and then see if Dan would pass Max (he probably would fight it), it is a pitty we didn’t get to see that.
          So no matter the punishment, I wouldn’t allow Verstappen to finish ahead of Vettel because of said context.

        3. I also believe they should have gotten the sams punishment. So vettel p4 and verstappen p5.

          If they had gotten the same punishment, Verstappen would still have been p4, since he was leading Vettel to the finish.

      2. @magon4

        Agree, this wouldn’t had happened had verstappen hadn’t aggressively braked Vettel into ricciardo instead of concentrating on going faster.
        That’s my main beef in this issue, kid has a doubt on whether he is going to be punished or not, instead of working his way out he works other drivers into a conflict to gain an advantage.

        It might be legal but i can’t see it as legitimate.

        1. This is the point many are missing or just ignoring. Well said.

        2. “aggressively braked Vettel into ricciardo”

          Lol! When did that happen?

          1. Did you watch it? up until corner incident, he was flying off the corners and vettel struggling to catch up until late.. after the incident, vettel was somehow at his tail all the time? coincidence? i think not!

            gotta check lap charts!

          2. ok lap charts show a steep slow down like 0.5 secs per lap on Ver’s car after Vet caught up, and suddenly Ric looks to catch up with massively… coincidence? i think not!

          3. Ricciardo was catching the pair at about 2 seconds per lap already.

    2. He moved twice because Verstappen brake checked him and in the aerial view it´s clear that Vettel left Ricciardo a car width.
      This penalty is a mess.

      1. The telemetry showed VES did not brake but lost speed. So no brake test and as always the one in front is the one who decides when he start the acceleration out of the corner. if you ever raced you know this is common knowledge and a common practice.
        Vet moved under braking, a new rule he himself was the major advocate of!
        So it seems now he is the first to feel the consequences .

    3. I think your analysis is pretty much spot on. Though I think they have wound up at this rule regarding moving in the braking zone quite reasonably in the end as a consequence of other rule changes in particular due to removing electronic controls such as Anti Lock Braking systems, traction control etc etc pushing more back on to the driver’s skill. So in this regard I personally think that the rule is fair and reasonable.

    4. Vettel had the right to defend the racing line, but no longer! That is what this penalty means: A clumsy driver who brakes late and is off the racing line and is going too fast for the corner ( and Vettel wouldn’t have know he was about to be hit because Ricciardo was in his blind spot) has more right to the corner than a driver who is on the racing line and is doing everything right. This is just a farce. The only saving grace is viewership of the race was such that F1 won’t have lost face over this. If the equivalent sort of thing happened in Football or the NBA there’d be public lashings.

  3. This is new information for me. The team told him to stay there. This was not broadcast on television and sheds a new light on the situation. I think Verstappen and Red Bull where right not to give the position to Vettel right away. Let the stewards decide if he gained an advantage or not.

    ” Verstappen was told he may have to relinquish the position but after the Red Bull driver said “let me know” he was advised “OK, stay there

    1. Verstappen and Red Bull where right not to give the position to Vettel right away.

      You’re definitely correct on that point, the regulations even state it is solely at the stewards discretion as to whether they will allow a redress of position. There’s literally no reason to give the place up unless directed to do so.

      1. Yes, and it was the next part that really got my attention – “Ferrari then told Vettel twice that Verstappen had been told to let him through”. On what basis did the team tell Vettel that?

        1. Good point, horrible failure on Ferrari’s part. Something like “don’t worry about max’s penalty, it will come, Ricciardo is closing” could knocked the whole thing on its head right there. Their clamoring on the pit wall was hardly befitting their station.

          1. Even so, Riccardo’s tires were pretty much toast, and his kamikaze dive for position was sketchy at best. Even if Max only “slowed up” , Vettel still wanted to avoid him and with Max’s past driving examples, you can’t blame him.
            Should have looked at the whole story and just called it a racing incident between Vet and Ric. Max on the other hand,,,,,, Kids seams to pull everything he can and claims he’s racing, then cry’s about people not liking his stinky driving. He would have lost position to Vet had he not gone off track, then he held him up. He’s not dumb, he figured a fight between Vet & Ric would help him out. I’ve heard Max & Ric cry on the radio too, they all do, I can’t blame vettel for flaming Charlie, but think it would have best if he didn’t. Penalties were messed up IMO.
            It may not have made a difference LH’s case, but he should have been given a fair one. That’s where “stewards” are flawed. When can “I” be a guest steward???? That would sure shake things up. lol

        2. The RB team said: I think you have to give that position back Max.
          That was why Vettel was so mad because he thought Verstappen was told to move over. If you watch the interview of sky F1 Vettel was very surprised when he learned that Verstappen was not explicitly told to move over

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jta1pnk2WVA

          1. @grapmg That’s not telling Max to do so though (at least since IIRC they used the word ‘may’)

          2. @davidnotcoulthard Exactly my point. Although the team radio message was : “Give that position I THINK you have to give back that position Max”. So not a clear message to move over in my opinion.

          3. @grapmg Ah yeah my bad

        3. Still, it was a POSITIVE message of having to give up the position. Things go both ways. It wasn’t an explicit message to give up the position, but not to keep it either by no means. Horner didn’t say “I think you don’t have to give the position back”.

      2. >> There’s literally no reason to give the place up unless directed to do so.

        Well, yes there is. When the car you should let pass is soon going to pit*, or will be overtaken by yet another car, or (like this case) the race ends. In all those cases if you wait for the stewards they will come with the decision too late and usually the punishment will end up being worse than just letting a car pass.

        *happened to alonso a few years ago

        1. However still; if you give the place up the stewards could decide that the redress was not sufficient, and apply a penalty regardless.

          The correct course of action per the regulations is to ask the stewards if a redress is acceptable or required, and once that is acknowledged then perform the redress.

          1. In this case I’m almost certain that Red Bull did so, and were told not to redress as the incident was still under investigation. Hence why Arrivabene was so animated on the feed, and why Vettel’s engineer told him that “Maruzio asked and Charlie and they said no” shortly before Vettel’s outburst at Charlie.

    2. I must admit, I agree with you: Verstappen was told to not give the place back by his team, so he didn’t. He wasn’t in a position to know why they said this, so trusted them to be telling him the right thing. By the sounds of it he was quite prepared to give up the place, but the team told him not to.
      Really, this goes back to the stewards who weren’t prepared to make a call on this until the race finished. If they had made a decision straight away then Verstappen would have given his 3rd place up and been behind Vettel, so Ricciardo would have ploughed into Verstappen, and no complaint would have been made to Charlie.
      So the trophy belongs in the Ferrari trophy cabinet, not in the Red Bull trophy cabinet, but F1 will consider this a minor point.

    3. Or it’s even worse because they did want him to stay there because they thought he was gonna get a penalty anyway and that Ricciardo might as well make the most of it thanks to Verstappen not moving away.

  4. Booo, Max the kid stubbornly didn’t give the place back, what immaturity and arrogance.

    His team told him not to.

    Oh.

    1. RossoTorro (@)
      31st October 2016, 11:29

      He is such a arrogant little kid for listening to his team, he’s going to kill people!

      1. Don’t forget he moves in the braking zone just like a four time world champion.

  5. Why is it a penalty/decision that cannot be appealed?

    1. Race penalties cannot be appealed @phylyp, that rule was instated to prevent endless rounds of protest, appeals and counter appeals mucking up the results of races.

      1. Cheers @bascb. The way Arrivabene is whining about being unable to appeal made me wonder whether it was somehow specific to this one instance, which you’ve clarified its not.

      2. Tommy Scragend
        1st November 2016, 11:07

        Quite right. Let’s just leave it to the race stewards to muck up the results of races ;-)

  6. This is the sort of decisions that puts me off F1. Not the DRS automatic passes, not the silly Tilkedromes, but the whole marshaling system : it’s inconsistent, mostly harsh, and it always looks arbitrary. Sometimes, a person gets penalised for a brush on someone’s car, sometimes somebody gets away with almost causing a nasty crash. The definition of an illegal move and a racing incident is very blury, but recently the marshals tend to forget that there is such a thing as a racing incident. But I get tired this year of having so much interference in the results from the marshals for little things. And I wonder what new fans think about it : do they really want to keep watching racing ruined by somewhat random decisions?

    1. you mean stewards, not marshalls.

      1. Yes, you’re right, I meant stewards

        1. @dan_the_mclaren_fan I understand your point, but I think all we are seeing is that each incident is unique, and by all means more can be done to explain that, for the benefit of newcomers to the sport. Things are happening so fast on the track in these incidents and sometimes it takes reviewing to see what really happened…was a driver’s intention understandable and ok, or was it pushing a rule a bit far? They are trying to promote racing while trying to promote fairness and a code of ethics at the same time. Example, these incidents of moving under braking are so subtle sometimes that it takes for the stewards to see some telemetry before they can judge properly whether one bloke put another in an impossible situation or not, or was it just hard racing in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. Ultimately I think the stewards usually have an answer that is hard to argue against once they have made a ruling based on their evidence, which always is more potent that what we are seeing and judging on TV.

  7. Promoting Ricciardo to the podium was overall the best decision, IMHO, the guy would have had a fair chance at it if it was not for Verstappen’s behaviour.
    Vettel moved under braking, so the penalty was understandable.
    The absolutely crazy thing is the slap in the wrist they gave Verstappen. Max is dangerous, arrogant, unable to learn from his own mistakes and deaf to any warning. They should have put him far behind Vettel and Raikkonen, not gifting him fourth place. He is clearly untouchable.

    1. Literally everything you just said about Verstappen is contradicted in this article.

    2. He was in front of Vettel when he went off the track, came back on the track in front of Vettel again.
      You can argue if a penalty was fair to Max, while Hamilton did it quite more obvious in the first round and gained a massive advantage of it.
      Max missed his braking point, just like Hamilton. Nothing more, nothing less.
      In the past a 5 seconds penalty has been the norm for an ‘offend’ made by Max, so what is your poin”t?
      There was nothing explicitly dangerous by his move, just look at the footage.

      In a way the VSC neutralised it a bit, but still the race was gone for Rosberg and Hamilton got off the hook.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        31st October 2016, 12:42

        @auria I can’t believe people think that Hamilton deserved a penalty for turn 1 – he locked up the tyre and would have followed the road had he been able to:-) Verstappen had a mini-lockup in comparison and pushed Rosberg off track. We’ve seen the stewards give penalties for pushing drivers off the track like Verstappen did and for Rosberg going off track while being pushed. Technically, it’s 3 penalties on turn 1 – one for Lewis, one for Max, and one for Nico. The only one who was ok is Nico Hulkenberg… in this start.

        Lewis had a slight advantage when he joined but it’s debatable if Max’s and Nico’s near collision didn’t help him gain that advantage as opposed to cutting and driving on grass for seconds.

        Generally speaking the stewards frown upon collisions at the start – not going off track limits. We see drivers being pushed off all the time or losing control of the car.

        1. Whiting explained that Hamilton took no advantage of cutting 3 corners over the grass in the first round.
          Look at the footage, what is Verstappen moaning about or does he have a case after all?.
          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CwCdcDDWEAEPtbT.jpg

          1. Tommy Scragend
            1st November 2016, 11:13

            Hamilton locked up, which would have sent him wide so that he couldn’t make the corner, but he didn’t need to go happily trundling miles over the grass like he did. He could have regained the track sooner but he chose not to because it would have cost him more time, put him quite a few places down the field and he might have got hit when he rejoined.

            So he gained an advantage from doing what he did.

            Had it been gravel there rather than grass would he have done the same thing? Of course not, because he wouldn’t have got out of it.

    3. To me the most questionable part of the whole shambles was the FIA taking the time to shoe Verstappen off the podium to get Vettel on, but then taking ages to actually adress the matter that Vettel shouldn’t have been there either.

      1. I’m glad someone finally said it! Welcome to the post Verstappen Rule Formula-1.

    1. SPIEGEL reports that when Dan got his trophy, he handed it over to Max.

      I read this the other way around. Dan got it from Max.

    2. I think you’ll have to improve your German, it is the other way around.
      Max gave the trophy to Daniel and the newspaper acknowlegdes this gesture by MAx….

    3. it’s a nice gesture from DR but i think max got what he deserved i.e. 4th. vettel lost the plot a bit, which was shame because he had a great race.

    4. To be fair, Verstappen did a lot more to contribute towards the trophy than Ricciardo. If it was anyone else in the car, Red Bull would have finished 4th and 5th.

    5. Funny reading that. While they do mention that it was a nice gesture to be the one to hand that trophy to his teammate, they found the need to say Max was “Verbittert” (resentful) on track, but the completely failed to mention that the guy who really was resentful on track was their countryman Vettel!

  8. This is a joke, in first place when u don’t give the position u mantain by cutting the circuit that would have mean when f1 wasn’t a joke, it will mean a drive and through around 15s at least. The spoilet brat gets only 5, and he blocked and brake test vettel for lot of laps. So the penalty should have been 25s or disqualification.
    The spoil brat created new rules in f1 to try to cut his cheats. Yesterday he push Rosberg out of the circuit, luckily didnt broke Rosberg world cup chances, more late he tried to overtake Rosberg with a suicide manouver, he nearly hit him, and more late vettel affair… And only 5s, he is repeatingly one grand prix and another having contact in starts, in overtakes, i dont remember him doing a clean grand prox without polemic actions. This is what happens when kiddos skip the younger formulas and dont learn to avoid contact. He is not ready for f1 and he should go back to younger formulas and learn by contact and with other driver slapping his face all grand prix.

    1. This is a joke, in first place when u don’t give the position u mantain by cutting the circuit that would have mean when f1 wasn’t a joke, it will mean a drive and through around 15s at least. The spoilet brat gets only 5, and he blocked and brake test vettel for lot of laps. So the penalty should have been 25s or disqualification.

      Yes I think a penalty is fair and one could argue that 5 seconds is too lenient. But ‘spoiled brat’, ‘blocked and brake test Vettel of a lot of laps’? Do you have any proof of that? As F1Fanatic charts have shown (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/10/30/2016-mexican-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps/), Vettel was much faster than Verstappen at this stage of the race. So was Verstappen blocking or was he unable to go faster on worn tyres? Show us proof! Based on http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/10/30/2016-mexican-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps/, Verstappen kept the same pace after the incident.

    2. I don’t know about spoiled brat, though I believe he’s not ready for f1 either.

      1. pffff, think F1 wasn’t ready for Verstappen…. now F1 can do without Verstappen

  9. VES was about to loose his 3rd place to VET, only didn´t so because he cutted the corner, he should have given the place. Worst, after thar he was blocking VET allowing RIC to close and attack him, that´s not etic, fair and honest IMO.

    About the moving under braking, once again the stewards are taking the rule to the letter and not to the spirit. What VET did was not dangerous, he squeezed a bit RIC (a bit surprised to see him whining a bit at the end, because he his a hard racer and I admire him for that), it was good racing, what we want to see. The kind of stuff that VES was doing and would have result in a big accident one of these days was to suddenly move under braking when the other driver was commiting to a braking line. It doesn´t seem much different but it is.

    About Vettel, he´s far to nervous, and his comments were well above the acceptable. He should be banned for one race to calm down, and think about not only what he said to Charlie Whiting, but also to half of the grid. Really unacceptable.

    1. How is it blocking when Vettel was catching Verstappen in the first place? Verstappen couldn’t go faster with is much older tires. Riccardo was faster then both Vettel and Verstappen and was able to catch quickly.

      Moving in breaking zone is considered dangerous. So punishment is fair. Sounds to me you like to bash Verstappen.

      1. >Sounds to me you like to bash Verstappen.

        That’s the problem with fans thinking they’re experts.

      2. Yes, I admit that I have a problem with arrogant drivers that doesn´t respect anyone on track, perhaps I´m old fashioned on that regard, but thinking about it, half of the paddock doesn´t disagree with me, and as races go bye the list is growing.

        I don´t need to say what most people sees, VES is one of the fastest drivers, but he lacks good judgement and race management.

        1. The one who moved under braking was VET. But you are stuck in VES-bashing mode and VET-apologia. Sad.

    2. Vettel was much faster than Verstappen at this stage of the race. So was Verstappen blocking or was he unable to go faster on worn tyres? Based on http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/10/30/2016-mexican-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps/, Verstappen kept the same pace after the incident, so we have no proof of blocking.

    3. Well, @ruben, you are right off course that VES was about to loose his 3rd place to VET, only didn´t so because he cutted the corner. That is why the stewards deemed he gained an advantage and gave him a time penalty. We have had races in the past where it took them 20 or more laps to decide on such things, so it makes some sense to wait, even though the common wisdom nowadays is that it is normally easier to just hand back the spot immediately. But you only have to do it within 3 laps after their judgement. In this case, the judgement came after the cars had already finished the race, so it automatically turned into a time penalty.

      The only times when it is not allowed to try and stay ahead, however slow you are going, is when your car is seriously damaged or when you are a lap (or more) behind and are therefore shown blue flags. Neither applied here. So while it is understandable Vettel was frustrated by it (Perez was also frustrated about chasing Massa for 20-30 or so laps), there was nothing undue, unsportmanlike or unfair about it.

      For the part about the moving under braking – Vettel moved when Ricciardo was already next to him (something Verstappen never did, he moves just before the driver was next to him). That is the exact reason why drivers (including Vettel) critisized Verstappen strongly and insisted on the FIA to police such moves only a week ago.

  10. I think it was a brilliant move by Vettel, constantly narrowing the gap for Ricciardo but still leaving him space.
    Unfortuntely it falls under this stupid new rule on moving under braking, although this was meant to stop drivers from doing sudden changes of direction to block the DRS-aided attacking driver.

    There we have another rule, applied like a bandage, now also interfering with where it should’t do so.

    1. @jon-thereyougo

      I think it was a brilliant move by Vettel, constantly narrowing the gap for Ricciardo but still leaving him space.

      But space is useless if you are unable to steer. Ricciardo committed to a line and braked as hard as his tyres could handle. At that point he was unable to steer left where the gap was.

      I’m not saying I want it to be a penalty, but based on the new established rules, it was a clear cut.

      1. Vettel gave RIC just as much room as he needed. There was no damaged, both made the corner. I’d call that close and hard racing.

        1. Agreed, but as a result of the new rule VET himself wanted it’s a breach of the rules now.
          And as such reason for a penalty. Stupid rule and unnecessary but it was something VET and others wanted. Now they have it.

    2. @jon-thereyougo

      Unfortuntely it falls under this stupid new rule on moving under braking

      At least VET seems to be one of those who agreed to the rule being introduced though. So, a wee bit of karma, perhaps?

    3. This rule will be like the track limit ones amongst others. In 3 or 4 races time it will not be enforced and Max will be benefiting from it. It was brought in just for his moves and his team have benefited from it. Max should have pulled over and let Vettel by after he cheated at the 1st turn instead he was slower and it allowed Ricciardo to have a go. If Max had not cheated Ricciardo would not have been able to have a go. This was a pincer movement by Red Bull who in a number of sports make a mockery of the rules (see the history of RB Leipzig). When Kimi was forced off in Spa by Max he gave the place back straight away, he could have done what Rosberg did this race when Max shoved him off, in hindsight he should have done the full 3 laps before letting him back by.

    4. although this was meant to stop drivers from doing sudden changes of direction to block the DRS-aided attacking driver.

      That is not true. The Kimi move in Spa was NOT in the braking zone and does not has anything to do with the new rule interpretation.
      It’s just moving after you used the brakes and that was something VET did as the telemetry showed. So VET is the first victim of a rule he was so eager to enforce.

      Btw the not moving under braking rule will still a source of frustration because not all cars brake on the same distances. ( tires, brakes etc are very different between cars) so there exists no clearly marked braking zone.
      Only after you use the brakes it is not allowed to move, the stewards would check the telemetry after the race to see if there was something wrong. So again the impact of this rule always will be after the race.

    5. Why do people keep mentioning DRS as if it’s somehow relevant to moving in the braking zone?

      I know this sit keeps on harping about how nad DRS is for the sport (while ignoring the fact that it’s the tyres that actually cause the drive-by’s on the straight), but this is just getting ridiculous.

  11. The sporting regulations that can be read here here makes more sense of what Maurizio Arrivabene is referring to. Penalties under section 38.3 (a to f) of the sporting regulations referring to incidents during the race cannot be appealed against. This means the stewards have unchallenged rights to hand out penalties on incidents during the race or even after the race in some circumstances. No appeal can be made against such decision. This is archaic.
    Further, the regulations state (please point out if I am wrong) the kind of penalties like 5s or 10s etc. that can be placed. But whether to impose a 5s or 10s in a particular incident during the race is left at the discretion of the stewards. In my opinion, stewards need to be consistent in giving out penalties throughout the season and such penalties should not be arbitrarily imposed. There should be a sound regulatory logic behind such penalties, irrespective of the grid position.
    Two questions therefore remain:
    a) If the technical regulations can be re-written to make the sports better, shouldn’t the sporting regulations be re-written as well for the same cause?
    b) Shouldn’t there be a single race steward for throughout a season?

    1. Whether Vettel was given a 5 second penalty instead of the 10 second penalty is irrelative, either would have demoted him to 5th place.

      Did he deserve a penalty? IMO, yes, he openly admitted he moved under braking in the braking zone. All be it a new rule (or at least updated) that came into play at COTA, it was a rule that he was aware of and was aware he had broken…

      On the lap 1 turn 1 incidents…

      Should Hamilton have been given a penalty?
      I’m not a Hamilton fan and whilst on the outset it appeared he may have gained an advantage, he went into the corner in the lead and came out in the lead, the between himself and Rosberg approximately the same…

      Should Rosberg have been handed a penalty?
      It’s a little more tricky, but, again, I feel that this was nothing more than a racing incident that due to the banging of wheels (between Rosberg and Verstappen) left Rosberg with no alternative than to go off circuit. Verstappen locked up going into the corner and as such didn’t have full control.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        31st October 2016, 14:26

        Hamilton made a mistake but cutting the corner allowed him to completely avoid any consequences for that mistake.

    2. That rule is there for a very good reason @pinakghosh. It is there to make sure that race results are not appealed and counter appealed endlessly during and after the race and make a mess of the results.

      If there was an option to appeal, I am sure we would have had several teams protesting the first lap incidents (Red Bull, FI and Ferrari against both Mercedes, Mercedes against Verstappen, Manor, Sauber, and maybe STR and others against Guttierez, Guttierez against WEhrlein, McLaren against Sainz, and Sainz countering that one, and more) the stewards would in effect not be able to hand out any in race penalties and we would have a plethora of hearings, investigations etc for ages after the race. And then rounds of appeals to that at the next race. And court of appeals hearings in the months following that etc.

      In short, it would make a mess of things. Just imagine how football, cricket, hockey etc would look if the referee desicions to give free kicks, corners etc, could be appealed after the match.

      1. You have a point @bascb and there shouldn’t be endless appeals. But to have a regulation that does not allow any appeal altogether is also strange. If we look at this not just in the context of Mexican GP only and hypothetically consider a situation where the stewards in their collective wisdom and empowered by the regulations take a penalty decision which in every possible way is incorrect and biased and there is no way to appeal against that decision.
        It is understandably difficult for any governing body in any sport to come up with a most perfect set of rules. But, at least scope of arbitrary implementation of the rules should be limited.

        On a separate note, FIA had tried with permanent stewards in the past but apparently it did not work out. But there was a view in favour of its return.

        1. The last time they had a permanent steward he was the main culprit of many strange desicions that upturned the balance of races and championships and seen as being far from neutral @pinakghosh.

  12. Well the podium was also given by bureaucracy.

  13. Well, it seems after all info is in, that the Ferrari pitwall is where it all went banana’s. Should they have informed VET properly that VES was told to retain his position awaiting race director verdict, VET could have focussed on what he was attempting in the first place: overtaking VES. Instead he lost valuable time waiting to get a free pass, with all subsequent consequences. Man o man, how not performing is this Ferrari team now for so many years already.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right @mayrton. Why did Ferrari team allegedly tell Vettel *twice* that Verstappen had been told to let him through when no such decision had been made by the Stewards? It would have wasted Vettel’s time and then infuriated him when he realised that he wasn’t going to be allowed a ‘free pass’. Is that why he starting mouthing off at Charlie – because he might have thought that Whiting had changed his mind on Verstappen’s penalty?

    2. @mayrton To be fair, at first Verstappen was instructed to give the place back, only to be told to keep the position directly after that. A call that had not been broadcasted. I was under the impression that Red Bull asked Verstappen to give the place up so I can understand that Ferrari thought it as well.

      1. Red Bull said they thought he would have to give it back. No confirmation to actually do it was given. We do not hear all broadcasts but apparently the teams can hear all from all teams. I do not believe in an everlasting reorganisation but am afraid new leadership is needed at Ferrari as this is a costly in the heat of the moment mistake from the team

  14. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
    31st October 2016, 13:18

    Vettel is not out of the woods yet. Jean Todt has recieved a lot of criticism being too invisible over the years.

    Vettel has given Jean Todt an opportunity to show his strength, without interfering in the battle fort he championship.
    Jean Todt could well be making an example of Vettel.

    1. Vettel is a lucky guy when this is not followed by some kind of penalty. He gave plenty of reason for a grid penalty or even bigger penalty. Can’t think of any sport accepting this kind of behaviour. Red card material

  15. Yes, Mr. Arrivabene. Your podium was indeed taken away by bureacracy – it is called a rule book with clarifications that set out regulations for what can be done (and how stewards should enforce those rules).

    1. It is great to see such passion in the Ferrari team isn’t it? Pity it clouds their judgement too often. Costly mistake today on their pitwall. Not acceptable at this level of motorsport I am afraid.

      1. It certainly gave us a full dose of emotions yesterday @mayrton!

      2. It can’t be long before they pull the “we will get out of F1” card again.

    2. So now get your rule book and cross out “defending the racing line is allowed”. Vettel was defending the racing line and got penalised for it: ergo, you aren’t allowed to defend the racing line.

  16. RossoTorro (@)
    31st October 2016, 14:13

    That is rich! First complain about a move so much it gets better looked at and then complain when you are better looked at for doing such a move and fail miserably at it also.

    1. Not to mention the reason that max is in a RB is because vettel also complained about kvyat so much! Everything he does seem to backfire!

  17. To be fair, Ricciardo deserved the podium; Seb did good with the strategy but he could not overtake anyone on track while Ricciardo past so many cars on track.

    It is sad that because of the hot head Verstapen, we discuss about penalties, instead of the would have been fair battle between Seb and Ricciardo.

    Also notice how when Max is involved into a wheel to wheel someone always ends up off the track or worst while the other ones can race sooo hard and close and yet give each other space.

    Max needs to start listening and respect the field. Races are not held only for his benefit. In Austing he robbed his team mate of a chance to attack Rosberg by driving half the track at 40mph while it was clear his car was done. Here he did it again, he spoiled the racing while it was clear he could not hold to that place; he wouldn’t even been there if Ricciardo would not have let him past med race. Why would a two sopping driver let the one stop driver through, i don’t get it.
    He pushed a championship contender off the track in the first corner, he then dived on his inside and Nico had to carefully avoid the hot head teen. What is he trying to do? He is not in the championship fight, his team has all but secured 2nd, he’s been outclassed by his team mate on and off track … sometimes i think he does it out of spite: “if he can’t have that position no one will”.
    The only thing Max can accomplished in the next races is to get Carlos Sainz into a RedBull next year!

    1. VES did just what his team told him to do so.
      Even so in Austin where even the location to stop was decided by the team. Only the fact the gearbox jammed prevented the car form simply pushed back.
      So all the strange theory’s you seem to hold do not stick to the simple facts you can check for yourself!

      What is he trying to do?

      He is racing and tries to win a race or get as high on the podium as possible, something every driver should do!
      But it seems you think, if there are people contending for WC your not allowed to race anymore ;)

      Also notice how when Max is involved into a wheel to wheel someone always ends up off the track or worst while the other ones can race sooo hard and close and yet give each other space.

      You obviously missed some races then. Look at the way Max and Daniel showed how teammates can fight wheel to wheel, something ROS and HAM are not able to do.
      https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2016/10/ricciardo-beats-verstappen-as-Red-Bull-finish-one-two-in-Malaysia.html
      Btw look at that race how VET again did some very stupid things crashing into ROS. Again something you missed i guess.
      No more colored glasses just look at the facts.

      1. Hamilton and Rosberg were perfectly capable of racing wheel to wheel when they both weren’t in the battle for the championship.

        Ricciardo was already getting fed up with Verstappen’s antics before. Imagine when Verstappen pulls those dive-bomb actions on him after the start when they are actually fighting for the championship. Colored glasses indeed.

      2. I stay by my comments; i liked Max a lot in the beginning of the season; but race after race he’s pushing drivers off the track, he’s brake testing them and then he calls them idiots; he’s trying too hard and he ends up short. Worst of all he does not listen to any of the criticism. That in my book is a fool.
        He could still change but i’m afraid he will not.

  18. Lots of use of the phrase “give the position back”. In order to give something back to someone, don’t they need to have had the thing in the first place? Vettel never had the position, so there’s no position to give “back”. This is more about punishing someone for not suffering enough of a disadvantage through their own mistake – something inherent in circuit design in the 21st century. Hamilton also did not suffer a disadvantage when he made a mistake, which is supposedly absolutely fine.

    My issue here is that the stewards are now apparently making a judgement, not on whether a person gained an advantage, but on how big of a disadvantage that person failed to suffer. I don’t feel particularly comfortable with that.

    The way I see it, Vettel was faster than Vestappen but was struggling to find a way past him – Vestappen made a mistake, and Vettel then saw an opportunity to scream “foul!” and have the stewards order Vestappen to concede a place. Vettel literally swore at Charlie Whiting and got another driver demoted. Is that what we really want this sport to be?

    1. @mazdachris Fair comment. I’m not convinced it was SV’s verbiage that caused MV’s penalty, but I take your point and no that is not the F1 I want if in fact it was SV’s outrage that influenced the decision to penalize Max.

      What I have posted a few times today is my opinion that there simply should be a physical deterrent on the runoff that self-penalizes a driver by a few seconds rather than having stewards try to figure out after the fact, as you put it, how big a disadvantage a bloke failed to suffer.

  19. Hello,

    Just to mention Prost’s take on the RIC-VET battle (original below):
    __
    “What we saw between Vettel and Ricciardo is exatly what we like to see in in a race. It was indeed on the edge, but the two moves of these drivers were still exceptional, with a lock-up and Vettel letting just enough room and still getting back his position. It was top.”

    “When I saw at the end of the race that there will be an investigation… It should not even occur. It was top, contrary to what Max Verstappen did once or twice since two or three races.”
    __
    “Ce que l’on a vu entre Vettel et Ricciardo, c’est exactement ce qu’on aime voir en course. C’était certes limite, mais les deux manœuvres des deux pilotes ont quand même été exceptionnelles, avec un blocage de roue et Vettel qui laisse juste ce qu’il faut d’espace mais il récupère quand même sa position. C’était top.”

    “Quand j’ai vu en fin de course qu’il y avait une investigation… elle ne devrait même pas avoir lieu. C’était top, contrairement à ce qu’a fait Max Verstappen une fois ou deux depuis deux ou trois courses.”

    1. THIS…

      “What we saw between Vettel and Ricciardo is exatly what we like to see in in a race.”

      1. Yes. I usually like Prost’s views: pretty moderate, not necessarilly consensual and unexpected or deep takes on things.

    2. Nice catch. I’m not sure I fully agree with Prost here. I agree that there is a difference between Vettel’s movement and Verstappen’s in the past races, it was not as quick and calculated, and far more signalled.

      I don’t necessarily think that makes it right though. Vettel was basically saying with that movement “I’ll ruin both our races if you don’t back out” as there was no way he was going to sacrifice his position in that frame of mind, definitely dangerous as Ricciardo subsequently backed off and decided he wanted no part of it.

      It’s also fitting for Prost to advocate such movements as it’s not unlike the multiple he shared with Senna – that complete commitment of “you are not getting past or we will crash” just has no place in the modern safety focused F1, regardless of how much people long for it.

    3. Vettel’s move was just as arrogant as Verstappen’s moves. Perhaps less obviousl, but still, the only thing that Ricciardo could do was avoid a crash. There is no fighting for position possible when drivers keep defending like that. Which is exactly why the move was more clearly banned and rightly so got penalized when Vettel pulled it off anyway.

      Brilliant bit of Karma too though. He deserved that after chastising Kvyat for running into the back of him and then Vettel himself rammed at least half the guys in the top 10 in start incidents. Which includes Raikkonen who got brutally cut off.

  20. This race was a farce! The penalties imposed (especially to Vettel) and those that were not imposed are the best example of the corruption that corrodes “Godfather” Ecclestone´s circus.

  21. It was mostly just circumstances (and bad communication). The stewards were going to investigate, but that takes time and with so few laps left and a lap being very short, it makes sense to just do it after the race. I think they pretty much immediately annouched that. They have done that before and changed the result at the end. That of course meant that vettel had to fight of ricciardo if he didn’t pass max almost right away and the communication from ferarri that max had to move and then that they should fight wasn’t helping and most likey confused Vettel even more.

    All in all i don’t see anything wrong with the decision to look at it after the race and with both the penalties of max and seb.

    1. That is a very good point. I agree. A lot of this was circumstantial. As a Ferrari fan I was very angry Vettel got a penalty (judged on what happened under the new rules it was justified) due to a perception Max allowed Ricciardo the chance to try an overtake. Just one of those things and the driver complaining the most about Max’s moves this year is the one to fall foul of the rule brought in to stop him.

      I just hope going forward if Max moves under braking he is punished and this is not one of the rules which is enforced to start with then just fades away. This also gives Riccardo license to try more of his dive bomb moves from very far back and the driver in front needs to jump out the way.

  22. Tell me Verstappen doesn’t have a bulls eye on his back! Other drivers (Ferrari, and Haas drivers by extension) will be gunning for him now. And should he ever be in a position in future to be fighting for track position something tells me the pay back will be entertaining!

  23. I would promote Vettel right to the second place after sheer amount of swearing. Marvelous fun.

    1. It would have been so much better if we heard and saw what he said and how he looked when they took that third place cup away from him so Ricciardo could have it.

      The stewards really should have hurried that up and made sure the verdict was announced when Vettel was still on the podium.

  24. F1 became a total Circu$…

    Bernie got it: it’s the WR€$TLING of motorsport.

  25. This is the absolute low point for F1. I for one will boycott all sponsors of F1 and let them know exactly why.
    F1 is a bad joke and all true race fans now know it. Further, Charlie Whiting is a disgrace who is clearly owned by Red Bull money. Pathetic I have been following racing since the 50’s and have NEVER seen a bush-league operation like what I saw at Mexico ..
    Verstappen drives off the track but comes back in front of Vettel then blocks Vettel while Verstappen’s team mate catches up and all Verstappen gets is a 5 second penalty. To make this worse, MUCH WORSE Vettle gets a 10 second penalty for moving in the braking zone where EVERYONE knows that Verstappen has made a career of doing exactly that and the stewards NEVER penalize Verstappen for it. To make it worsae vettel should never been in a position where he needed to defend but, was put there by Verstappen’s blocking to allow his teammate to catch up . It was a double team by Red Bull started by the leaving of the track and illegal return by Verstappen. he gained an advantage and thus should have immediatedly given up the advantage but, did not and race control did not order him to do so-what BULL. Then Vettel is penalized for defending when he should have been in front of Verstappen not behind him. How can you penalize vettel when it was Verstappen’s illegal move which put Vettel in the position he was in ,that is having to defend against Ricciardo.
    One Red Bull driver cheats to help the other and the stewards penalize the victim not the perpetrators .
    Contrast the officiating in WEC and how much better it is.At Fuji near the end of the race a car went all four wheels off track to pass and within seconds there was an announcement from race control telling the offending driver to give the position back . here at Mexico Verstappen drives ten cars widths off track and cuts back in front of Vettel land blocks him and Vettel get 10 seconds for fighting to keep a position he never would have needed to defend if not for the illegal driving of Verstappen.
    This is fair ? This is top flight racing ? BOO F1 ,BOO Charlie Whiting and BOO Max Verstappen.
    As I said I am going to boycott all F1 sponsors and everyone who is offended by how Vettel and Ferrari got screwed should do the same.
    Bernie only care about money so lets show him that if he won’t put on a fair race he won’t get paid !
    Am I upset,you bet so if my typing or syntax is off, I am sorry but, I have never seen anything this bad in my 60 years of following racing.
    I’ll say it again-boycott all F1 sponsors and tell them why. Charlie Whiting ,Bernie Eccelstone and the F1 stewards are pawns of Red Bull.
    I will NEVER respect F1 racing again . What was my favorite id now somewhere far after tractor pulls.
    Indycars rule !

    1. @rikdi I only watch F1 since the late 80’s but I have seen far worst than this :-) Maybe sleep over it a couple of nights and hope we get a exciting fight for the championship the next two races .

    2. It was mostly the Ferrari drivers calling or this rule clarification. The hypocrisy that Vettel then pulls the exact same move and thinks he can get away with it was just hilarious.

      Like Ecclestone once said “If F1 is a circus it’s Ferrari who provides the clowns”

    3. As I said I am going to boycott all F1 sponsors and everyone who is offended by how Vettel and Ferrari got screwed should do the same.

      Yeah! That will teach them!

  26. Personally, I believe that in this case , the Mexican track planners are at fault. Turn 1 obviously lacks penalties for disrespecting the track, and encourages irresponsible driving. Race control and stewards made a stupid move by taking the podium AFTER the race. That is just bad , in every possible way, hence the entire hulabaloo. It sets a nasty example that race results can be altered to someone’s whim , which means that teams will be investing in the judges , rather than in actual cars and drivers. If they felt obligated to do something , they should have just tied the third place to VET-VES-RIC. Wouldn’t be pretty , but at least it would be prettier than this.
    As for VES , he is being pampered a bit too much , reckless driving is reckless driving. Unfortunately , his peers such as HAM or VET aren’t exactly the finest role models. It’s almost ironic that VET fell first to law he sponsored the most , but it just shows that VES is taking far too much heat for his mistakes and misdemeanor. I’m not defending VES , I’m just saying that one should lead by his (or hers ) example, just recall the struggles when HAM and ROS crashed deliberately into each other in the first lap ( or later laps ) , simply because they saw no other way to prevent the other from gaining position. The mentality “if I can’t have it , than none shall” is too present in f1.
    In the end, the most troubling part is that rules weren’t applied equally and without prejudice , and we have seen no excuses from either Race control , or track planners , since this incident is fully their fault. It just so happened that they found several hothead drivers in big teams that blew it far too much than it should have been, and are suffering consequences for their poor decisions. FIA , just admit that you are imperfect , not just stick to your outdated ideals and practices.

    1. Robi the robot
      31st October 2016, 20:55

      SV should be punished again for swearing at the management, if you let this pass by, the F1 ends up like soccer where complaining and theatre is a crucial skill set for any (new) player. MV is a rising threat to the German racing *and* car industry, they have already changed a rule because of him. Do we want again to train-race with one driver winning 3 laps ahead of others, or do we want serious racing with thrilling action (within the limits of the rules of the game)?

      1. Well , the whole train race with racer exiting and entering the lap is a dull one , but that doesn’t mean that rules should allow taking greater and deadlier risks. We already have a pantheon of dead racers , from Bianchi to Ajerton Sena. If you want a thrilling race , than all of the cars should come from the same manufacturer , and the providing manufacturer shouldn’t own a team in the race. Until that happens , we will be stuck with teams who simply make use of the rules , not teams and who fight the glorious battle we all want to see.

  27. Frankly, as a Hamilton fan, I have to say this was one of the most entertaining races I’ve ever watched. The drama in the race – Perez and Massa playing cat and mouse all day, Verstappen and Vettel loving each other, the shenanigans at the end of the race, and of course Lewis winning it in the end – I rate this race a 99%. hahahaha

  28. Kestutis Rutavicius
    1st November 2016, 8:40

    Arguing that Verstepen didn’t have to give position to Vettel is like arguing that driver shouldn’t respect track limits…

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