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Sebastian Vettel suffers Mexican GP ‘radio meltdown’

Sebastian Vettel suffers Mexican GP ‘radio meltdown’
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Listen as Sebastian Vettel turns the airwaves blue during a breathless conclusion to the Mexican GP.

Enraged at Max Verstappen staying in front of his Ferrari despite the Dutchman sliding off track as they fought for third place, Vettel exploded with anger throughout the final laps.

Livid at Verstappen’s reluctance to surrender his position, Vettel was so angry that he threatened “to hit someone” as he vented over the Ferrari team radio.

Remarkably, Vettel was then heard to instruct Ferrari to tell FIA race director Charlie Whiting to “**** off”.

Having originally been promoted to third by the stewards when they punished Verstappen with a five-second penalty, Vettel himself then lost third, and was demoted back to fifth, several hours after the chequered flag had fallen by the stewards after they took a dim view of his defence against Ricciardo. 

Although Vettel sought out Whiting following the podium ceremony to offer a personal apology, the four-time world champion’s outburst is likely to earn him a heavy penalty from the governing body and may even result in Vettel being charged with bringing the sport into disrepute.

“For sure it wasn’t the right thing to say, but equally emotion and adrenaline was running high. Out of respect I went to see him,” said Vettel.

Asked how Whiting had responded, Vettel replied: “It’s none of your business.”

But the Ferrari driver also faced sustained criticism from Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

While Ricciardo was relatively circumspect as he argued Vettel didn’t “deserve to be on the podium”, a scathing Verstappen made no attempt to contain his disdain for the former world champion.

Verstappen: ‘Vettel is a very frustrated guy’

“It’s ridiculous what he did,” Verstappen told Sky F1. “Daniel was alongside him and he just turned into him. Then he is shouting and l don’t know how many times he is using very bad language. I think he needs to go back to school. It’s just ridiculous. I will speak to him. He is always frustrated. He is just a very frustrated guy.”

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