Marko apologises


A rare mea culpa from Helmut Marko following his post-race comments in reaction to Lewis Hamilton's 'brake test' claim.

Speaking at the end of Sunday's controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen was being summoned by the stewards following the incident on Lap 37 when the Dutchman was alleged by his title rival to have brake tested him, Helmut Marko reacted angrily to the Mercedes driver's claim.

"Our engineers are preparing, we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn't brake test like Hamilton said," said the Austrian, according to Autosport.

"Then he crashed into our car," he insisted. "He unfortunately put two cuts in the rear tyre, that was so severe that we couldn't attack anymore. We had to take speed out."

However, the stewards subsequently hit the Dutch driver with a 10s time penalty, deeming that he had indeed "braked suddenly and significantly".

"At the time of the television interview, I passed on exactly the information that I had previously received from the engineers. They obviously weren't right, so I'm sorry," Marko now tells F1insider.

"Hopefully the sad chapter of Saudi Arabia has now closed," he adds. "In any case, we're just looking ahead. We want to win in Abu Dhabi and so win the title.

"We will do everything for this, but we will not take any unfair actions. In Saudi Arabia we already had the pace to keep up with Hamilton. The route in Abu Dhabi should be more accommodating to us."

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Published: 08/12/2021
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