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F1 Brazilian GP: Vettel, Whiting to face off in FIA drivers’ press conference

FIA race director Charlie Whiting is making a surprise appearance in the drivers' press conference alongside Sebastian Vettel in his first media appearance since Mexico.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting is making a surprise appearance in Thursday's drivers' press conference ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix alongside Sebastian Vettel in his first media appearance after his expletive outbursts in Mexico.

The Ferrari driver angrily ranted over the radio with expletive volleys directed at both Max Verstappen and Whiting, after the German driver felt aggrieved Verstappen was not instructed to let him pass after cutting the corner at the exit of turn one during the Mexico Grand Prix.

Vettel's fury continued over the closing laps as he came under pressure from Daniel Ricciardo with the pair almost clashing on the penultimate lap with the four-time F1 world champion moving under braking while defending.

Despite being given a quick post-race promotion to third place after Verstappen was handed a five-second time penalty, the German was ultimately demoted down to fifth in the final classification having been found guilty of moving under braking while defending, a tactic recently outlawed by the FIA.

However, the biggest talking point came from Vettel's radio outbursts where he swore and threatened to 'punch someone' with messages directly aimed at Verstappen and Whiting.

After an immediate apology to Whiting, Vettel also sent written apologies to Whiting, the FIA and Verstappen. As a result, the FIA opted to not to investigate or punish Vettel for his outburst but warned any driver against future incidents.

Heading to the race at Interlagos, Whiting will make an unusual appearance alongside the drivers' called by the FIA to the Thursday press conference.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Vettel has also been requested to attend along with Verstappen and Ricciardo.

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F1 world title rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will also attend the press conference with Williams' Felipe Massa, who will be enjoying his final home race before retiring, completing the line-up.

After Hamilton caught a media backlash for paying more interest to social media on his phone during the FIA drivers' press conference in Suzuka, it is likely the same session in Brazil will certainly be one to keep an eye on as it puts Vettel directly under the spotlight against Whiting and Verstappen.

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FIA Thursday drivers' press conference line-up

Charlie Whiting (FIA)
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Felipe Massa (Williams)

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mrfill

November 10, 2016 11:32 AM

The FOM website states quite clearly that "On this occasion he [Whiting] will be present to address this topic ONLY in order to avoid questions are not in line with the facts in discussion." The 'topic' mentioned being the Mexican GP. I suspect that there is a word missing though. Between 'questions' and 'are' should be the word 'that' - it makes no sense otherwise. Anyway, don't expect fisticuffs, he is only there as a question filter..



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