Sebastian Vettel celebrates finishing third in Mexico.
Sebastian Vettel celebrates finishing third in Mexico. ULISES RUIZ BASURTO

Vettel stole third, says Ricciardo

MOTORSPORT: Daniel Ricciardo says Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel stole a podium place off him after finishing fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Australian was moved up a place after Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for keeping his position ahead of Vettel despite going off the track.

The German also moved up to third but Ricciardo was adamant Vettel should have also received a sanction.

"He (Vettel) is smiling now,” he said.

"He doesn't deserve to be up there (on the podium).

"I thought I had every right to be there but he kept closing the door under-breaking. I was frustrated with that.”

Vettel too took exception to Verstappen's move, launching a tirade of abuse over the team radio aimed at the 19-year-old.

"He (Verstappen) is a ****,” Vettel yelled.

"Am I the only one, or are you not seeing what I'm seeing? He's just backing me off into (Daniel) Ricciardo.

"Move, move for f***'s sake. He cut the chicane. He has to give me the position. End of the story.”

The German also aimed abuse at veteran race director Charlie Whiting over the incident, again via his team radio.

"Here's a message to Charlie: f*** off. Honestly, f*** off.”

Lewis Hamilton won the race ahead of Mercedes temmate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton trails Rosberg by 19 points with two races remaining. The German will only need to finish second in both of those to seal the Formula One championship.

Ricciardo is now third on 239 points, one more than he finished on in 2014 when he also finished third.