Formula One: Max Verstappen blasts foul-mouthed rival Sebastian Vettel, saying German 'should go back to school'

Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing waves to the crowd in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct 30, 2016, in Mexico City.
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing waves to the crowd in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct 30, 2016, in Mexico City. PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Dutch teenager Max Verstappen launched an astonishing verbal attack on four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the wake of their stormy battle in the closing laps of Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton's win was the 51st of his career and kept alive his title defence and reduced Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's lead to 19 points with two races remaining. Rosberg finished second.

The Briton's triumph also represented Mercedes' record 17th win in a season.

However, their celebrations were almost drowned out by the row that raged in the aftermath of a stormy battle between the Ferrari and Red Bull teams in the closing laps.

This saw Verstappen, who finished third before being handed a five-second penalty that relegated him to fifth, clash with Vettel on and off the track where he had refused to concede a position when he locked up his brakes and ran off the circuit, gaining an advantage that infuriated the German.

Verstappen joined the Mercedes duo in the pre-podium room before leaving with the arrival of Vettel flanked by a group of Ferrari team members. Despite threats, no punches were thrown.

Vettel was later issued with a 10-second penalty that dropped him to fifth, promoted Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to third and Verstappen back up to fourth.

Vettel's language on the Ferrari team radio was so laden in profanities that the team chief Maurizio Arrivabene eventually had to tell him to stop talking and calm down after he had lambasted not only Red Bull's Verstappen, but also the Race Director Charlie Whiting.

"He has to give me the position - end of story," said Vettel, having referred to Whiting saying "here is the message for Charlie: 'F*** off. Honestly f*** off."

In response Arrivabene said: "Sebastian, Sebastian, calm down, calm down. They are under investigation. I know that it is not fair but calm down. Put your head down and we talk afterwards."

Verstappen, 19, said that Vettel "should go back to school" to be taught not to swear so much.

Vettel was trapped between the two Red Bulls in the closing stages when Verstappen 'backed him up' to make him vulnerable to an attack from his team-mate Ricciardo, who was equally angry at the unfolding of events at the end of the race.

Speaking to his Ferrari race engineer Riccardo Adami and team chief Arrivabene, Vettel's comments on the radio included him not only swearing frequently and directly about Whiting, but adding: "Honestly, I'm going to hit someone."