After Verstappen laps Hamilton, Red Bull CEO Marko twists the knife.

Following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday, Red Bull team adviser Helmut Marko couldn’t help but add insult to injury by claiming Lewis Hamilton should have retired at the end of last season.

The seven-time Formula One world champion finished 13th in Imola, out of the points, and was lapped by rival Max Verstappen, who went on to win the race in a one-two for Red Bull.

Mercedes has struggled to cope with porpoising as a result of new regulations this season, but Hamilton’s form contrasts sharply with that of teammate George Russell, who leads the driver’s standings by 21 points and finished fourth on Sunday.

Marko couldn’t help but smile when asked how Hamilton was doing after Imola.

“I mean, he was lapped by us, so I’m not sure,” Marko said to Sky Sports F1. “Perhaps he’s thinking he should have stopped last year,” says one.

Verstappen, on the other hand, downplayed the significance of Hamilton being lapped, claiming it was a natural result of the performance differential between the Red Bull and Mercedes kits.

“They’ve been slow all year, so it’s not really exciting for me; it just happens,” he explained.

Verstappen’s victory at Imola was a confident performance, with the Dutchman leading from start to finish. With Carlos Sainz out on the first lap, Red Bull was able to deploy second-placed Sergio Perez on a different strategy in order to put pressure on Ferrari with championship leader Charles Leclerc.

The defending world champion went into second place in the driver standings with 59 points, 27 points ahead of Leclerc, who finished sixth after a spin on lap 53.

Following DNFs in Bahrain and Australia, Marko believes the one-two was essential for team morale and the title.

“It was critical following our engine troubles in Bahrain and Australia…

Another one-two, the most recent being in Malaysia in 2016 “Marko stated.

“It was about time, which is critical for morale and everything else. It shows that we are competitive; all we need to do now is put the package together, and we will be there.

“There are so many races coming up, but the key thing is that we have such a good package, so the championship will be really exciting, but hopefully it doesn’t go down to the final race like last year.”

 

 

The FIA is ‘assessing the impact’ of tripling the amount of F1 sprint events.

The FIA is still weighing plans to increase the number of Formula One sprint races to six next year.

The maiden sprint race was held at Silverstone last year, and the first of three on the 2022 season was held in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend.

Six sprint races on the 2023 calendar are supported by all ten F1 teams.

The governing board of Formula One is still debating whether to sanction such an increase.

According to an FIA statement: “With the first of three sprint events of the 2022 season, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, proving popular with fans and stakeholders last weekend, Formula One and the teams were supportive of an expansion to six sprint events for the 2023 season, using the same format as in 2022.

“While the FIA supports the notion of increasing the number of sprint races, it is still analyzing the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and people and will provide input to the commission.”

Max Verstappen won the sprint at Imola to earn pole position and went on to win the race on Sunday.

 

Leclerc: I was overly greedy, and it cost me.

Charles Leclerc admitted he was “very greedy and paid the price” as he raced from third to sixth place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Despite qualifying second behind Max Verstappen after Saturday’s sprint race, Leclerc dropped to fourth on the first lap when Sergio Perez and Lando Norris passed him.

Although he was able to pass Norris, Perez’s outstanding defense kept him at bay, and he was unable to get close enough when the track was eventually considered dry enough for DRS to be activated.

With the front two out of reach, Leclerc chose to switch to soft tyres and chase the fastest lap in order to deprive Verstappen of the extra point.

However, an error on the Variante Alta caused him to collide with the walls, forcing him to pit once more.

When Leclerc returned to the track, he was ninth, but he managed to climb back up to sixth, reducing his championship lead from 45 to 27 points.

“It’s a real pity. Whatever happened prior to the spin is a detail, and it’s all part of racing. The spin should not have occurred today “On Sky Sports, Leclerc stated.

“P3 was the best I could come up with. We didn’t have much more pace, and I was too greedy, paying the price with a loss of seven possible points compared to third place. It’s a shame since it’s seven points that will undoubtedly be crucial at the conclusion of the season, but this should never happen again.

“Red Bull appears to be more competitive than the first three races. We had an advantage in Bahrain and Australia, but they had an advantage here and in Jeddah.

“It is really close, and I believe it will remain so for the rest of the season. It’s a significant blunder, but the consequences could have been far worse. It’s only seven points today, but it could cost me more the next time, so I have to be cautious.”

Carlos Sainz, who got buried in the gravel after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo at the first chicane on the first lap, cost Ferrari a point.

Sainz stated: “It was unquestionably horrible. This is a difficult time.

“It’s not how I wanted to go out in front of the crowd. Turn two can be difficult, but there are always difficult times in a sportsman’s life that must be overcome.

“The good times will come as long as I keep working hard.”

Leave a Comment