The controversy around Hamilton’s victory over Verstappen in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix doesn’t seem like ending anytime soon. Still, according to Red bull’s advisor Helmut Marko, the debate doesn’t hold any relevance given the conclusion of the event.
Marko further said that the argument over the track limits in Bahrain stands pointless. As per him, a wall needs to be put up around the turns to avoid any such future situations. Besides, questions must be asked about the availability of a wider run-off area at the exit of the corner.
“It happened, and it’s completely unnecessary. There’s enough space there. Let’s put up a wall and that’ll be that. If you crash into the wall, you’ve damaged your vehicle. I don’t know why we have so much run-off area on the tracks, and why we don’t put a wall in there.”, he said.
We must mention here that Verstappen was forced to hand back his lead to Hamilton due to off-road overtaking at Bahrain. He planned the overtake around the exit of Turn four with only four laps to go.
Hamilton, on the other side, was shown to be continuously running wide at Turn 4. He then got pushed to change his line as per the instructions received from the Race control ( given Red bull’s request for clarification in similar regards).
Helmut Marko claims that Mercedes drove continuously over track limits at Bahrain
As Verstappen held back on his lead due to the overtake penalty, Lewis Hamilton made the most of the opportunity. Despite several hiccups in the closing stages, he eventually took it home by 0.7 seconds. Helmut Marko, on the other side, quotes it as a mere reward of continuously driving over track limits for team Mercedes.
“We interpreted it too strictly,” Marko told one of the famous sports daily in an exclusive interview.
“Then we asked the race control: ‘Hello, the Mercedes is driving continuously over [track limits] and have a time gain of two tenths – can we do that too?’
“And then we got a vague answer: ‘Actually, no.’ And then there was also the question of the black and white flag for Hamilton. Because he was over it more often.”, he further added.
As it happened, Red bull driver Max Verstappen claimed that he would’ve accepted a time penalty instead of giving his lead to Hamilton. His teammates heard him on the team radio after the event while expressing his frustration over the whole drama.
As indicated by Helmut Marko, Verstappen should have been handed over an adjusted penalty instead. This way, he could have made it better of Hamilton in the closing seconds of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
This is not the first time when Verstappen has been at the receiving end of this ‘outer loop’ overtaking saga. The wall at Turn 4 is located ahead of a run-off area and gravel trap. Moreover, it brought Verstappen’s Sakhir Grand Prix campaign to an end in a similar passion last year.
Nevertheless, Max can make a comeback at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that is scheduled for 18th April 2021. The F1 fans, on the other side, can surely stay ready for another nerve-wracking clash between the best F1 stars.
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