Epic Drive to 3rd place by Verstappen, or was it?
After a 15 place grid penalty, Max started way down the grid. Clever tyre choice and an almost perfect drive from the young Dutchman got him back in the fight for the podium.
The Red Bull driver had closed up the gap to the 4 lead cars after his team mate (Riccardo), had to retire as a result of engine troubles. As he approached the back of battling Bottas and Raikkonen, the team pitted him to change his tyres once again, hopefully to give him the long run advantage over those in front.
The tactic worked and Verstappen was lapping 2seconds faster than the Mercedes of Bottas in front of him when he returned to the circuit. In fear of Verstappen getting in front of some of the lead 4 cars, Ferrari pitted Vettel to give him the same tyres. Seb came out of the pits barely infront of Max, but was able to maintain a gap.
Whilst Vettel drove on to second place, with a reasonably easy pass on Kimi, Verstappen made reasonable work of Valteri, but struggle to pass Kimi until the last lap, making a move up the inside only several corners before the chequered flag.
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On his way to the podium, he was replaced by kimi, live on TV.
— Jos Verstappen (@MaVic009) 22 October 2017
The Stewards decision is final, and they gave Max a 5 second penalty demoting him to 4th place behind Kimi, “for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage”. It’s apparent that many are unhappy about the decision, as seen in the above twitter post from Jos Verstappen, Max’s father.