Date:Friday November 18 2016
Before the Brazil Grand Prix, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff controversially contracted Jos Verstappen, father of Max Verstappen to ask his boy to not interfere with the championship battle.
Just what kind of reaction Wolff was expecting from either Verstappen, Red Bull Racing or the Formula One paddock is confusing.
Did he want to try and control the race? Asking Verstappen to not let his son race the Mercedes? What did he genuinely think the reaction was going to be?
Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen were always going to run the race they wanted and that's exactly what they did.
Red Bull have nothing to play for but the race victory, Daniel Ricciardo has already nailed down third in the drivers championship and Red Bull have already beaten Ferrari in the constructors championship.
In the words of Verstappen a few weeks ago: 'I'm not here to finish fourth'.
So in Brazil, Verstappen looked to have the measure of Nico Rosberg and could easily have cruised around on the wet weather tyre and picked up second place, costing Rosberg three valuable points in the chase for the championship.
That would have benefited Hamilton immensely as it was the difference between a 12 point and a 9 point gap with one race to go.
Rosberg can now finish third in Abu Dhabi to clinch the championship, had Verstappen beaten him in Brazil, he would have had to finish second; Fine margins where championships are won and lost.
But Verstappen didn't stick with the easy and safe option of wet tyres, he switched to intermediates. Not to appease Wolff's request of not interfering with the championship, but to gamble and actually challenge for the race victory.
'I think we were in quite a safe position in second but sometimes you have to gamble a little bit - that is what we tried Verstappen told motorsport.com.
Predictably for some considering the conditions on the final sector, the intermediates were never the tyre to be on and Verstappen had to switch back to wet tyres.
That ultimately dropped him to 16th: 'We had to pit again and I was 16th, started to pass people again, couldn't see where I was on the straight, but passed a lot of them - and to get back on the podium was a great result here.'
It was a memorable drive from the 19-year-old, one that has already been likened to that of Aryton Senna's memorable wet weather drives such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix or the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donnington.
But the race was not just about overtaking manoeuvres, it was also about a save from disaster, as he lost control in the wet into a full on spin and with all four tyres locked he avoided the wall and continued his race without even losing his track position ahead of at the time, Nico Rosberg.
'I donít know, maybe I clipped a bit the kerb, had a massive moment, locked all four wheels, managed to keep it out of the guard rail he told Martin Brundle on the podium.
When asked if it was more skill or luck, he modestly said: '50-50 I guess.
Date:Friday November 18 2016
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