Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko mocked Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton following the Briton’s crash with Max Verstappen at Monza, insisting the pair “put on a show” after the incident.
Verstappen and the seven-time world champion suffered their second high-profile run-in of the season last weekend.
While the contact occurred at low speed, the Dutchman’s car escalated the Mercedes and would have likely inflicted sever injuries to Hamilton, or perhaps worse, without the protection of the Halo.
Hamilton nevertheless complained of a sore neck after the race and said he would consult with a medical specialist before next week’s Russian Grand Prix.
Dramatic 360° footage of the controversial clash released by F1 clearly showed Hamilton suffering an impact during the commotion.
But Marko, who never misses an opportunity to take a dig at Red Bull’s archrival, says Hamilton deliberately exaggerated the effects of the crash.
“I was most annoyed about our botched pit stop,” he told Austrian news outlet OE24.
“That’s the only reason Hamilton got into Verstappen’s zone. It was a normal racing accident, and all the stories surrounding it have been pulled out of thin air by Mercedes.”
Read also: Hamilton likely to visit ‘specialist’ ahead of Russian GP
On Sunday evening, Hamilton expressed his surprise that Verstappen had walked away from their skirmish without checking to see if the Mercedes driver was okay.
But Marko said the Dutchman quickly realized when he exited his car that his opponent was uninjured.
“Verstappen had already got out when Hamilton tried to get out of the gravel with the reverse gear. The medical car saw this and drove on,” added Marko.
“And then a show is put on that poor Hamilton is suddenly injured, etc.”
Marko at least acknowledged the vital role played once again in a crash by F1’s Halo cockpit safety device.
“Even if I was skeptical at first, I have to admit,” he said. “Just like in the fire accident [with Romain Grosjean], the halo was decisive in ensuring that things turned out so well.”
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