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Red Bull advisor’s dig at Hamilton: He should have stopped last year

Max Verstappen stormed to victory at the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP, lapping the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton on the way

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has taken a swipe at seven-time Formula 1 Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton, insinuating that the Mercedes man should have retired from the sport during the winter. 

Max Verstappen romped to victory at Imola in his Red Bull, and on the way lapped his 2021 title rival Lewis Hamilton which seemingly prompted the barbed comments from Marko.

“He [Hamilton] was lapped by us, maybe he’s thinking he should have stopped last year,” Helmut Marko told Sky Sports F1, when asked what could be going through the Mercedes driver’s head right now.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Verstappen only just moved ahead of Hamilton in the 2022 Driver Standings after the race at Imola, but Marko feels Red Bull have finally put their early season gremlins to bed with a one-two at the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP.

“It was very important after our problems in Bahrain and Australia from the engine side,” Marko said. 

“Our last one-two was in 2016 in Malaysia, so it was also about time. For the morale and everything it’s more than important, so it showed that we are competitive and we just have to get the package together and we are there.

“Twice to lose 18 points he [Verstappen] would be easily ahead, but there are so many racing coming. But the important thing is we know we have such a strong package, so the championship will be very exciting and hopefully it doesn’t go to the last race like last year [2021].”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Ferrari crack under pressure

After beating out Ferrari at Imola, Marko was adamant that Red Bull will win the development race with the Scuderia over the 2022 F1 season, while also highlighting that the Italian team don’t cope well under pressure.

“I don’t think [Ferrari can keep up with Red Bull development] and if we put real pressure on them they make mistakes,” Marko stated. “Leclerc spun on Friday twice, Sainz spun today [Sunday], Leclerc again, but I would say it’s a friendly sporting rivalry between Ferrari and us.”

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