Verstappen driver of the weekend despite podium fail

verstappen locks up past vettel in mexico 2016

Brought to you by TJ13 contributor @F1TheaJ

Rate the race: Readerscore: 6.45

Well this year’s race scored a lot higher than the race of 2015 which was a paltry 4.7, but then again the driver championship hasn’t yet been won for this year.

There’s still ‘all to play for’ in this year’s championship (provided of course that Hamilton wins all the remaining races and some misfortune befalls Rosberg, preventing him from coming second twice and third once in the remaining races.)

Rosberg had had a poor start to the weekend but managed to dig deep and pull a front row start out of the bag in the nick of time and started in P2 behind Hamilton on Pole.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle at the start which took on greater significance as the race progressed: Hamilton had a glazed front brake which caused him to have a massive lock up into turn one. He cut the chicane via the grass and emerged in P1, same has he was before this incident. No advantage gained , no penalty applied. Meanwhile Rosberg was being pushed off the track by Verstappen who also didn’t receive a penalty. Rosberg didn’t receve a penalty for leaving the track as he also didn’t gain anything by it (other than avoiding a collision with said Verstappen) as he maintained his position in second place.

Further back on the grid there was more contact, this time between Gutieres, Ericson and Werhlein, resulting in Werhlein retiring from the race. Again no action deemed necessary by the judges.

Vettel thought he had picked up a puncture (same as last year); a virtual safety car was deployed followed by an actual safety car, during which several drivers took advantage and pitted for fresh tyres (the most notable of which being Ricciardo who went on to a set of medium tyres, the hardest available compound- but more of that later)

That was pretty much it for the next 60+ laps. However, as is often the case, we were rescued from a totally dull race by our Driver of the Weekend.


Driver of the weekend: Max Verstappen 29.52% of reader vote.

It was pretty clear by lap 50 or so that most drivers were on a one stop strategy and that the two Mercedes would take the first two podium positions. Ricciardo, who had pitted during the first lap safety car moved onto a two stop strategy on lap 51 when he pitted onto fresh soft tyres, coming out in front of Raikonen into P6 and quickly passed Hulkenberg for P5. We now had a race on our hands for the third place on the podium, as Ricciardo chased down Vettel and he in turn chased Verstappen.

By lap 63 Vettel was running 9/10ths per lap faster than Verstappen who was on medium tyres 20 laps older than Vettel. ‘I see him coming’ was Verstappen’s response to his team’s message that Vettel was not far behind. By Lap 64 Ricciardo was only 7 seconds behind Vettel and would certainly catch both Vettel and Verstappen before the end of the race.

Verstappen caught and overtook Ocon on Lap 64, who obligingly got out of the way. By lap 67 Vettel was 2.7s ahead of Ricciardo and 0.8s behind Verstappen. ( an incident between Raikonnen and Hulkenberg saw Hulkenberg take a spin, leave the track and return having lost a couple of places but still intact.)

On lap 68 Vettel got into the slipstream of Verstappen who locked up, missed the corner and ran wide off the track, cutting the corner as he ran over the grass, coming back onto the track way ahead of Vettel. Verstappen then slowed down, trying to get the muck off his tyres which played straight into Ricciardo’s hands. Verstappen then received a message to give the position back to Vettel which he promptly ignored and continued to defend P3. Vettel was not happy and the air turned blue as Vettel cursed his way around the track. The incident was to be investigated after the race, so the cars held position.

On the penultimate lap Vettel complained about being backed into Ricciardo as Verstappen slowed. Ricciardo made a late lunge on Vettel into turn 4, locked up, the two touched and a ‘bit of a scrap’ ensued, slowing both of the down and allowing Verstappen to get away. The commentators thought it was skilful wheel to wheel action where both drivers avoided a collision. (not so the stewards- more of that later).

Meanwhile Hamilton took his 51st Victory and reduced Rosberg’s lead in the Driver Standings to 19 points.

It was not until Verstappen was in the green room that he learned he had a five second penalty from the incident with Vettel and would not be on the podium, promoting Vettel to third place. The shuffling of places didn’t end there as after the race Vettel was given a 10 second penalty for the incident with Ricciardo (applying the new ‘Verstapen’ rule), meaning it was actually Ricciardo who was in third place, with Verstappen in fourth and Vettel in fifth.

Phew…. comments below, please……

59 responses to “Verstappen driver of the weekend despite podium fail

  1. In fact the team told him to keep position and NOT give it to Vettel, because the team was talking to the stewards about it!

    Please correct this because it could lead to false sentiment inbthe coversation below!

    • The article is correct, the only point it doesn’t make is there were two messages, the first telling Max to give up the place, the only one aired in the UK

      • This was broadcasted “I think you have to give the place back Max”. So it was an assumption in my opinion. And besides this Vettel was driving clear behind him.

    • Lars75 thanks for your response. I saw the race in the UK and there was a message from Max’s team asking him to give the position to Vettel. That was the only message that was broadcast on the channel I was watching and therefore is what I used as the basis of the article.

  2. I do not agree with your selection. F1 is not a drag race. Hamilton and Verstappen should both get a penalty for their of the track gardening job. Hamilton benefited since that drag race allow him to be in front but could not make the turn inside the race track. The same with Verstappen and that put Vettel in a red bull sandwich with Vestappen going slow to help Ricardo. Nico first turn was pushed out of the track but not the way Hamilton got out. In previous races FIA did penalize anyone taking a turn with all 4 wheels of the track. Hamilton and Verstappen had the complete car out of the track.

  3. Verstappen was on 20 laps older tires than Vettel. No wonder he gets slowed down by Verstappen. Instead of crying like a baby from his cockpit he should have acted like a man and make another couple of overtaking attempts. And like Lars said, Verstappen got the message from the team that he had to stay in his position. Because you know what, when you don’t overtake by cutting a corner, there is no place to give, no rule that forces you to give that place up. Just a time penalty when you gain time.

  4. “Verstappen then received a message to give the position back to Vettel which he promptly ignored” ?
    Tj13, the writer, has clearly not seen the race in TV, ontherwise he heard his engineer say loud and clear: ‘Keep the position, but I think you have to give it up later”. So he just did what he was told tot do. Further More, there is no rule of swapping positions in this case, he was, and stayed in front. The one who causes the upset was mr. Arrivebene, who wrongly told Seb that Verstappen was told to swap positions, Thats why Seb lost it and went crazy. So, if anyone should have been punished, it should be that overheated Italian. There is no excuse for telling lies, Mr Arrivebene.

    • Hi Bart I did see the race on TV (Chanel 4 in the UK) and (as has been stated several times now,) Verstappen WAS told to give the place to Vettel. Perhaps you watched a different channel and may also be in a different country?

      • quit strange indeed .. in Holland it was aired by Ziggo and there i heard “Keep the position, but I think you have to give it up later” .. i thought the radio messages where the same for all broadcasters regardless the country?

        • Also the reason why Vettel was so angry was because the Ferrari team told him that Verstappen was told to give back the position which is like throwing oil to a simmering fire. Neither the FIA or RBR in fact have done that. Also what cutting the corner is concerned i think the rules should be clearer. To use telemetry to say one instance is ok and the other isn’t is very confusing for the people who watch the race.

  5. As previously discussed FOM aired different messages for different providers. On the German telly there was the message to max to give the position back. On the Dutch telly there wasn’t. The article isn’t wrong. Why FOM did this, I still don’t know.

  6. I’ve watched Channel4 (this is a UK broadcaster) and have heard the other message to “keep your position”.
    I do not know if Channel 4 splits their coverage in an internet covergae and an on-air/cable coverage.
    Probably in Italy the’ve heard the message saying that Verstappen was banned and should stop the car.
    That’s amusing.

      • There was no second message on dutch broadcast, I’ve rerun the last couple of laps and only lap 68 held a (broadcasted) message. In my opinion, and after a couple of reruns, it says

        ‘Keep the position, I think you are going to have to give the position back Max.’

        But truthfully, it could also be ‘Give the position, I think you are going to have to give the position back Max.’

        But there was no second message, 100% sure on that one.

    • Verstappen will be hailed or banned forever in Italy. I really would not know what effect it will be. Next to Vettel’s outburst this was my number 1 TV moment of the race. Verstappen using Italian sign language to set Vettel in his place, or he might be sollicitating for Ferrari here.

  7. We should start voting for ‘Verstappen of the weekend’ instead. Vettel may have won for his defence under braking…

  8. At Skysport broadcast, anybody can hear clearly: ‘Ok keep the position, I think you have to give the position back, Max’. I doubt if there are different radio broadcast between the UK and the rest of the world. And what’s the use of replying to an article of a writer who have ‘seen things’ and not based on facts? It’s totally strange to reply if the writer has ‘seen things wrong’. Or is it just me?

    So my reply would be not to the story but to the writer: Max didn’t ignore a team order, you’re article is wrong.

      • another person who’s ears don’t work properly and incorrectly typed out the transcript, please people, just listen carefully, I have both Dutch Ziggo broadcast and Skysport broadcast digital at my PC and reversed the message over and over again, message is the same and the guy says ‘keep’. Did anybody listen themselves or only read stuff other people write and take that for granted?

  9. how can we state facts by hear say?
    The complete transcript of the radio messages are on these days better informed websites.

    If you google a cure for cancer, or on a lighter note, how to become a milionaire you hear a lot of stuff, it doesnt mean it is true is it.

    An article based on something you hear and don’t want to verify, is not very good journalism especially when on this website and several others it has been made clear that not the whole message from RBR was transmitted.

    But then again i seem to catch the judge on a sliding slope down to questionable level lately. Tendentious articles, Sun level photoshop and clickbait headlines. Hmm used to be respectable over here. Such a shame.

    Think the descision to call it quits earlier this year might have been the correct one, sometimes we need to follow our first hunch.

    • trandscript. and no I was not on the pitwall, but this was transmitted on Dutch Televison
      68 RBR: OK give the position, I think you’re going to have to give the position, Max
      68 Max Verstappen: Let me know.
      68 RBR: OK stay there.

      where things go wrong is where Ferrari says to Vettel that Verstappen HAS to give the prosition up. But nobody stated that ever during the Mexico GP

  10. Fellow Dutchies..the message was give the position, not keep the position. you can find teh transcript on the internet. It went like thsi in lap 68 and only the initial call was televised.
    68 To Max Verstappen OK give the position, I think you’re going to have to give the position, Max
    68 From Max Verstappen Let me know.
    68 To Max Verstappen OK stay there.

    And a nice one from Christian Horner after Max finished..should have been broadcasted for dramatic effect 😉

    To Max verstappen Well done Maxie that was a fantastic drive. No debate about turn one, Ferrari were moaning about it but you were well ahead and it was a lot less than Rosberg did at the beginning of the race. Great drive, managed it well, and it was a great effort on Nico as well.

    • Please listen Jaap. I reversed it several times. The broadcast is the same at Ziggo as at Skysports, I have both digital on my PC. The transcript is maybe written by the writer of this article. ANYBODY can hear very clearly: Ok, keep the position…and the rest…

  11. At the start he had no cars near him fighting into turn one then in retrospect he had neither gained an advantage.
    Apparently the SC nullified whatever we thought he’d gained
    Numerous drivers have gone off track in the past without been penalised. Usually at starts the stewards normally give a bit of leeway. Monza Spa Austin have a sharp turn turn 1 and people do leave the track from time to time. Spa 2008 comes to mind, when Kimi starting 4th on the grid,went wide,using the run off to slipstream Massa to gain 2nd behind Lewis. Hardly anyone is penalised unless you force someone off track. Lewis didn’t get a penalty because there was no one around him. Sometimes I wonder how long some people have been watching F1, no wonder commentators keep repeating the rules of drs and tyre usage over and over again, coz most forget after 2 weeks.!

  12. Jeez…

    Evidently the answer is for teams to tweet their driver instructions to a steering wheel display and for Joe Public to see a live stream from an official list of race participants including teams and officials

    Drivers can only reply by using voice-to-text technology obviously for safety’s sake.

    And, there will have to be a strict, standard vocabulary used so that there are no coded messages or misunderstandings.

    And they will have to choose a common language so that their aren’t any mistranslations.

    And there will have to be a super secure and reliable WiFi connection to the cars so messages can’t get lost.

    All this will certainly remedy situations like Mexico and definitely prevent us from having something to speculate and argue about.

      • Youre right, the transcript is clear. So it must be true, And I don’t really want to bring it up (agian).
        But to be honest, the rest of the conversation doesn’t really make sense if it was ‘keep’, why would VES ask ‘keep me informed’ and why would the engineer say, ‘OK, stay there’?

        It only makes sense to me if it the first statement was ‘stay’ instead of ‘keep’

        But enough of this, I really don’t even care what was said…

        • Youre right, the transcript is clear. So it must be true, And I don’t really want to bring it up (agian).
          But to be honest, the rest of the conversation doesn’t really make sense if it was ‘give’, why would VES ask ‘keep me updated’ and why would the engineer say, ‘OK, stay there’?

          It only makes sense to me if it the first statement was ‘keep’ instead of ‘give’

          But enough of this, I really don’t even care what was said…

      • No @TJ13
        It shows perfectly that some people just want to hear what they hear…

        How can anyone think that: “you have to //keep// the position up” is correct English? I’m no native but to me that //keep// sounds an awfully lot like “give”

  13. I still dont understand what these people watch? 6.45 seriously? It was hardly a 3/10 race. Yeah for sure the soap opera drama was 11/10 but actual racing was crap.

    If ratings are this high they would have given races in 2012 30/10

  14. You lost All credibility when you said, “Hamilton had a glazed front brake which caused him to have a massive lock up into turn one. He cut the chicane via the grass and emerged in P1, same has he was before this incident. No advantage gained , no penalty applied”.
    He was 4 seconds further up the road then the rest of the grid. If that isn’t ‘gaining an advantage’. I don’t know what is…

    • Hi Druiff That paragraph relates to penalties (not) awarded by the stewards and was intended to be read as ‘no advantage gained (in the opinion of the stewards) no penalties awarded (by the stewards), but I thought (wrongly) emphasising the ‘by the stewards’ bit was unnecessary as it’s the stewards who give the penalties, so it must be taken as read that the no advantage gained related to the opinion of the stewards. I was hoping the article would stimulate discussion about the consistency of penalties awarded rather than the content of the messages transmitted from the team radio communications. Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to comment on it. Hopefully the feedback received will help to improve my articles in the future. (hope springs eternal!! )

  15. I still contend that it was the hapless stewards who were the cause of the problem. Their inability to make a call instead putting it off. This often exacerbates a problem.

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