The world championship fight has never been so dirty!
The Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia will be a permanent duel between World Cup competitors Lewis Hamilton (36) and Max Verstappen (24) on the track. After the two almost collide with each other several times, the contenders for the title crash on lap 37. Hamilton’s front wing is broken, Verstappen’s rear tire.
In the end, the Brit prevails and wins the desert race. From Red Bull’s point of view, wrongly! The Brause racing team is mad at the racing jackets. In an interview with BILD, Red Bull’s head of motorsport speaks about the incidents.
BILD: Dr. Marko, have you been betrayed today?
Marko: We feel treated unfairly, yes. We are working to prove that Max’s brake pressure (Verstappen; editor’s note) did not increase in the accident with Hamilton. He didn’t brake for Hamilton to drive into him. Hamilton simply misjudged himself and drove Max into the car. Unfortunately, that left two big cuts in our rear tire. Because of that we couldn’t attack anymore. On the straight we had to take off the accelerator so that we could reach the finish line with the tire. But that’s not the only thing that bothers us.
Marko: The new approach that during the race, like in the bazaar, you are told that you should let your opponent pass so that there is no penalty. We will now collect all the facts and then take them to the race management. We hope that those responsible will be reassessed if we can substantiate our point of view with facts – and then hopefully there will be a punishment for the Hamilton side.
BILD: At the bazaar you agreed and accepted that Verstappen would be moved from first place to third after his overly tough overtaking maneuver after the first restart.
Marko: We didn’t have a choice.
BILD: Hamilton and Mercedes have been emphasizing for weeks that they want to become world champions – but in a fair way. Is that still the case?
Marko: I remember Silverstone and Budapest. Max was shot down by Hamilton in Silverstone, and both of our cars in Budapest. If that’s supposed to be fair, I don’t know. It’s a fight that is very tough. But we are not satisfied with the decisions made by the race management.
BILD: Is this the toughest world championship fight of all time?
Marko: We’ve been fighting hot duels with Mercedes for months. Senna versus Prost, for example, was just a race where it crashed in Suzuka. But it cannot be that there are only one-sided decisions in such a duel.
BILD: Is Verstappen’s driving style sensational or cocky?
Marko: The second restart is an unparalleled driving feat from Max. That was the reason why we put on medium tires, because we knew that Mercedes was better with battery management in the first two laps and could call up more power. Max took advantage of that hard but fairly. Hamilton has left the gap and you shouldn’t do that with Max.
BILD: What do you expect for the last race in Abu Dhabi?
Marko: First of all, I hope that today’s result will be analyzed again and, in the best case, also revised. But we just have to win the race.
BILD: If Verstappen and Hamilton both eliminated in another duel, your driver would also be world champion.
Marko: I do not hope that the scenario will come about.
BILD: With Sergio Perez’s failure, the constructors’ championship is as good as decided. Can Mercedes put the champagne in the cold?
Marko: You have made a massive leap. But our focus is on the drivers’ championship. We are not a car company. That is not superficial for us.