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Marko: We forced Lewis to engine failure

NEWS STORY
04/10/2016

Red Bull's Helmut Marko believes pressure from his drivers caused Lewis Hamilton's Sepang failure.

Never mind a conspiracy at Brixworth, Brackley or even the intervention of the almighty, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko believes it was the pressure from Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen that caused Lewis Hamilton's engine failure at Sepang.

With Nico Rosberg sliding down the field following his first corner encounter with Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen were hunting down Hamilton.

"My guess is that we very likely forced him into that engine failure!" the Austrian tells the official F1 website. "We permanently put pressure on him, challenging his lead, as he knew he had to create a gap, and to go permanently full throttle was probably not the best thing for his engine.

"But even without him retiring we had some things up our sleeves," he adds, "I will not say what, just that with both cars on different strategies we would have challenged him anyway towards the end of the race."

Other than Hamilton's engine detonation, Marko believes another major factor in the outcome of the race was tyre strategy.

"It played a big part of our success, as the tyre degradation was immense. Max was very fast, but also hard on the tyres so he had more than the anticipated degradation and that played a bit to his disadvantage. We told him; 'If you continue with this speed your front tyres will give up in the next couple of laps and your sure P2 will be gone, and you will probably end up empty handed'.

"But in the end he knew about his tyre situation himself," admits Marko, "because he felt, of course, that he was losing grip with every lap. So there was not an issue for him keeping position.

"It took quite a while to understand that we could challenge Mercedes here," he adds. "In the beginning of the weekend we were very sceptical, but then qualifying showed that we were not so far off to Mercedes and clearly ahead of Ferrari. That was a good feeling going into the race."

Asked if the result means that the Austrian team is safe in runner-up spot in the title fight, Marko replies: "We don't fall for that illusion. There will be races ahead that do not suit us that much, so we are careful in any crystal ball reading.

"Of course when we feel that we can win we will aggressively move forward. But we are not the kind of people to go into maths now. We want to win P2 fair and square on the track!"

Asked if Sepang was an indicator of what's coming in 2017, Marko is philosophical.

"It means nothing more and nothing less than that we did the best job. And that we will go our way!

"Yes it is a strong motivation boost," he adds, "but that's it. We have to continue to work hard, because that is the only way to win."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 06/10/2016 16:57

"I want some of what Marko is smoking!! What colour is the sky in his world?"

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2. Posted by Hobgoblin, 05/10/2016 8:28

"Dream on Marko..."

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3. Posted by scf1fan, 04/10/2016 21:14

"Ha! (Thank goodness you ditched those Renaults from last year . . . right?)"

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4. Posted by Jonno, 04/10/2016 18:28

"If that were the case Marko, why haven't you forced them into failures in other races?
"

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