George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
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Red Bull chief Helmet Marko has hit out at Lewis Hamilton for pulling off a “show” after colliding with Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix. Verstappen’s rear-right tyre made contact with Hamiton’s helmet in the incident that ended their race prematurely.
The Red Bull driver found himself alongside the seven-time world champion due to a slow pit-stop, after the Dutchman was looking to pull off the overcut on Daniel Ricciardo at Monza.
However after an uncharacteristic mistake from the team, Verstappen endured an 11-second pit stop due to a problem with his right-front wheel.
It meant he was thrust alongside Hamilton, as the seven-time world champion rejoined the track on lap 26, ultimately leading to the incident at the Rettifilo chicane.
In the aftermath Hamilton revealed he felt “a little bit of pain” whilst still in the car, adding that he was suffering from a huge headache after the crash.
But Marko questioned how hurt the Mercedes driver really was.
“I was most annoyed by our messed-up pit stop,” Marko told Sport24 Auto.”This is the only reason why Hamilton came to the regions of Verstappen.
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“It was a normal racing accident, all the stories around it were pulled by Mercedes.
“Verstappen had already got off when Hamilton tried to get out of the gravel trap with the return. The medical car saw this and drove on.
“And then a show is pulled off that poor Hamilton is suddenly injured, etc.”
Verstappen was handed a three-place grid drop to be taken at the Russian Grand Prix after the stewards’ deemed him more at fault for the accident.
However, Marko dismissed the penalty, adding: ”I don’t get upset by that, even though it was a racing incident.”
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Verstappen still leads the way in the championship fight heading to Russia with a five-point lead over Hamilton.
”Those five points we are ahead don’t mean anything. It will be exciting until the last race,” Marko concludes.
Verstappen meanwhile added he didn’t “fully agree” with the penalty, but added that he and Hamilton will “move on” from the incident come the next race in Sochi.
“We were racing for position today but you need two people to work together to make the corner and Lewis just kept squeezing until there wasn’t room anymore for two cars and that’s when we crashed,” Said Verstappen.
“When he exited the pits, he started to squeeze me going into Turn 1 so I had to use the green part of the track.
“It was very tight but there was room for me to go around the outside and then I was pushed onto the orange sausage kerb. I was there to try and race hard but fair. I don’t fully agree with the penalty as I believe it was a racing incident.
“It’s very unfortunate what happened today but we are both professionals and so we will move on.”
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