Red Bull Racing finished on the podium at the Mexican Grand Prix, even with Max Verstappen receiving a penalty after the Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Milton Keynes based outfit had an interesting Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with both drivers battling it out to increase their grid position. Verstappen put up a good fight with Nico Rosberg in the battle for second but after surviving a lunge at turn four, the teenager backed off from the Championship leader and slipped into the clutches of Sebastian Vettel.
The Dutchman saw the chequered flag in third but was later handed a five-second time penalty, after the stewards deemed him gaining an advantage from defending Vettel. He crossed the grass in the battle and returned to the track, retaining his position. There was no celebrations for Verstappen on the podium after a decision was made before the celebrations.
Daniel Ricciardo also had an interesting Grand Prix after he was promoted to fourth thanks to Verstappen’s penalty. On the penultimate lap, Ricciardo attempted to pass Vettel but this led to the two touching twice. The Australian escaped the incident with no more than a flat-spotted tyre. This incident was under investigation, with Ricciardo believing Vettel moved under braking to try and defend his position.
After the celebrations on the podium, Vettel received a ten-second penalty for this incident, and this promoted Ricciardo to his eighth podium of the 2016 Formula 1 season. Team Principal Christian Horner believes it’s been an interesting end to the Mexican Grand Prix.
“I’m glad to see the Stewards making the right decision regarding the Ricciardo-Vettel incident,” said Horner. “It extends our lead over Ferrari in the Constructors Championship to 62 points.
“It’s been an interesting end to the Mexican Grand Prix, not one that anyone really wants to see, but I’m delighted for Daniel in having secured third place in the Drivers’ Championship, he’s had an excellent season and deserves it. Daniel and Max have been driving brilliantly well, pushing each other on, they’ve both raised the bar and the level that they are operating at now is good to witness.”
During this season, Red Bull have been catching up with Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team in their performance. Verstappen had a good battle on hand with Rosberg but had to back out of it after he could not catch him. This increase in performance sits well for Red Bull as Horner believes this bodes well for them not only this year but a more competitive season next year.
“We are looking forward to the final two races,” added Horner. “It’s encouraging to see we are getting closer and closer to Mercedes.
“For Max to be able to have a go at Nico today, having tailed him all the way through the race is really good news. We are chipping away and you are not seeing the margins Mercedes have had in previous years which bodes well not just for this year but for a more competitive Formula One in 2017.”