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Ricciardo: Vettel didn't deserve podium

30 Oct 2016

An angry Daniel Ricciardo slammed Sebastian Vettel following Sunday’s race in Mexico, accusing the Ferrari driver of moving under braking as the pair contested fourth place in the closing laps, and saying the German's tactics were clearly wrong and should be punished.

Ricciardo had been closing on Vettel as he duelled for third with the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen. With Vettel bottled up behind the Dutchman, Ricciardo pounced at Turn 4 and appeared to have the inside line - only for Vettel to squeeze the Australian, with the pair making light contact several times before Vettel eventually fended Ricciardo off to hold position.

"I just felt that Seb did what everyone's been complaining about lately, moving under braking," Ricciardo said of the incident, which stewards are investigating. "He is smiling now. For me he doesn't deserve to be up there [on the podium] with the move he pulled.

"It looked like he opened the door, I committed and had every right to be there, but he kept closing the door and in the end I had nowhere to go.

"I was frustrated by that. We know Max's moves have been a bit questionable - that was the same case today with Seb. Don't get me wrong I love racing, I love racing hard and even a bit of contact, but this whole moving under braking - you don't move after you've been out-foxed.

"Seb moved early, I'd won the chess match you could say, and then he went 'oh no' and moved late and left me nowhere to go. To me that’s not right. It was still a fun race, but I would have loved to be up there on the podium."

Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko echoed his driver's sentiments, telling "I thought there is a new rule about not moving under braking - and I have never seen a more clear misconduct of a rule then what Sebastian Vettel has done in this race when moving very aggressively towards Daniel Ricciardo’s car."

Ricciardo also questioned the fact that winner Lewis Hamilton had escaped without penalty after the Mercedes star locked up heavily and went off over the Turn 1 run-off at the start of the race.

"I also didn’t understand the start, how you can be leading, lock the brakes, go off and come out in front," Ricciardo said.

"I think he deserved the penalty; I think anyone who does that deserves a penalty.

"If you lock up and miss the corner you have to pay the price - Max too. I don't know, I'm just a bit frustrated with how it panned out. I really wanted to be on the podium..."

WATCH: Tensions erupt as Vettel battles Red Bulls in dramatic finish