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Podium place changes hands for a third time

The 2016 Mexico Grand Prix has seen three different drivers awarded third place since the chequered flag has fallen.

Whilst Lewis Hamilton continued his domination in Mexico to take the Grand Prix victory, the 51st of his career, making him the joint second most winning-est driver in Formula One history; A battle was brewing behind him.

Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg took second place to set up up perfectly for a championship victory in either Brazil or Abu Dhabi.

The battle for third place was tense, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel the meat between the Red Bull Racing sandwich of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Tempers were more than a little frayed with Verstappen locked up going into turn one and ran over the grass to maintain the place ahead of Vettel.

This infuriated Vettel, who not only hadn't gained third place, but had been pushed back into Ricciardo.

The Australian on newer tyres went for a move on Vettel, which the four-time Formula One World Champion robustly defended, forcing Ricciardo to lock up to avoid a heavy impact and for the two drivers to touch going around the subsequent corner.

They crossed the line as they were, but a post race 5 second time penalty cost Verstappen his podium place and forced the Dutchman to leave the back stage area ahead of the podium celebrations.

Vettel took his place, all the while knowing he too was under investigation for making a manoeuvre under braking.

Making a move in the braking zone is now outlawed under the new 'Verstappen rule'.

The new clarification states: 'Any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers. Any such move will be reported to the stewards.'

Ironically Vettel was one of the most vociferous about this previously unwritten rule regarding the young Dutchman. However it was Vettel who became the first victim of it, as he was handed a 10 second time penalty, dropping him behind Ricciardo and behind Verstappen.

Vettel was also handed two penalty points.

Before the decision was made Ricciardo told the BBC: 'He doesn't deserve to be up there. I thought I had every right to be there but he kept closing the door under braking. I was frustrated with that.'

The decision means that Daniel Ricciardo has secured third place in the 2016 Formula One World Championship, a position fondly though of as 'best of the rest' behind the dominant Mercedes team.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 31 2016

Time: 9:00AM

 

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