Max Verstappen believes that his five-second penalty for gaining an advantage off-track when battling with Sebastian Vettel in the closing laps of the Mexican Grand Prix was “ridiculous”, before calling his rival “childish” for his radio rant.
Verstappen ran wide at Turn 1 with three laps to go when being chased by Vettel for third place, but opted to make use of the grass and stay ahead of Vettel despite being told by his Red Bull team to give up the position.
Vettel went on an expletive-laden rant over his radio, but Verstappen stayed ahead and crossed the line third before exchanging rude hand gestures with his rival on the cool-down lap.
Verstappen made his way to the cool-down room after the race, only to find out he had been given a five-second penalty for gaining an advantage off-track, demoting him to fifth and lifting Vettel onto the podium.
When asked about the penalty after the race, Verstappen made his feelings clear.
“Ridiculous,” Verstappen told NBCSN.
“Especially after lap one, Turn 1, the first two go off, and OK we race. Why penalize me at the end of the race? It’s very unfair.
“Otherwise it was a very positive race. Our strategy was quite difficult to manage. But we deserved to be third.”
Verstappen took issue with Vettel’s defensive moves from Ricciardo, who caught the back of the Ferrari driver in the closing stages. The two rubbed wheels at Turn 4 on the penultimate lap.
“I saw footage. It’s ridiculous what he did,” Verstappen said.
“I’ve never ever done something like that, even close. I’ve moved under braking, but that’s with a car 10-15 meters behind. So to turn with a car next to you.”
“He’s just a very frustrated guy. He shouts on the radio like a child, he is like a child. Then after start-finish to do like that [gesturing] is more childish!”