Helmut Marko makes Lewis Hamilton accusation after Mercedes driver wins Saudi Arabian GP
Formula 1: Hamilton and Verstappen crash at 190mph
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Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday after an incident-littered race at the Jeddah track. Hamilton clashed with title-rival Max Verstappen on a number of occasions before securing his eighth race victory of the season.
Hamilton and Verstappen were locked in an intense battle to win the race as the duo vied for top spot.
Verstappen had to give the position back to the Mercedes ace twice after gaining it illegally. But the second time the Dutch driver allowed Hamilton to pass proved controversial.
Verstappen put his breaks on to allow Hamilton to overtake him, but those actions appeared to catch the Briton off-guard and he drove into the back of his rival and damaged his front wing in the process.
The incident was investigated by officials in the aftermath of the race and Verstappen was slapped with a 10-second penalty and two penalty points on his licence after being deemed to be at fault.
And Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has claimed that his team aren’t treated the same as Hamilton and Mercedes.
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Marko labelled the race as “extraordinary,” but went on to say that Red Bull were “not happy and we don’t accept the decisions.”
“Our engineers are preparing that we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn’t brake test like Hamilton said,” Marko hissed following the race.
“Then he crashed into our car – 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.
“That was the one thing. The next thing was at the second start – Hamilton was more than 10 [car] lengths behind.
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“[Sebastian] Vettel got penalised in Budapest when he did it. But with this manoeuvre he [Hamilton] was preparing his tyre better for the start.
“Then he pushed Max off – no reaction. So we feel we are not treated the same.”
Hamilton was summoned following two incidents during Saturday’s final practice. But the stewards chose not to take any major action and instead only handed the driver a reprimand for impeding.
“It’s a very one-side tending decision-making here,” Marko added.
Hamilton’s victory moved him level on points with Verstappen at the top of the leaderboard after the 36-year-old also took the fastest lap point.
Both drivers now have 369.5 points, but Verstappen retains his lead at the top of the standings courtesy of one more season race victory.
The championship is now set to go down to the wire, with both drivers looking to claim glory at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.
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