A furious Helmut Marko believes Lewis Hamilton should get a one-race ban after his collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone.
With the British Grand Prix billed as a must-win race for Hamilton in his 2021 title bid, it was little surprise to see the Briton take the fight to Verstappen after a strong launch off the line at his home race.
That battle ended in disaster for the Dutchman though as Hamilton dipped a wheel down the inside at Copse, clipping Verstappen who was then sent into the wall.
Verstappen was sent to a local hospital for precautionary checks after a 51G impact, with Hamilton later receiving a 10-second time penalty. But Marko, Red Bull’s driver programme chief, wants the punishment to stretch much further.
“You can’t do that with the normal sporting code. I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something,” Marko told Sky Germany.
“If a competitor massively touches our rear wheel with his front wheel, then that’s no longer a racing accident in the fastest corner of the track – that is negligent-to-dangerous behaviour.”
The view from above of *that* incident#BritishGP 🇬🇧 #F1 pic.twitter.com/O7QhraSNq0
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 18, 2021
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Following the contact, Hamilton radioed to Mercedes to plead his case.
“I was ahead going in there. It was my line. He turned in on me,” he said.
Mercedes were in agreement, putting the blame on Verstappen, for which Marko concluded they “must be blind”.
“Then they are all blind. The replays showed that quite clearly. He went into our right rear wheel with his left front wheel and sent Verstappen into the barrier,” Marko stated.
Once Hamilton came into the pits, also to serve his penalty, he returned to the track behind the McLaren of Lando Norris, quickly taking P3 from his compatriot.
He then set about catching his Mercedes team-mate Bottas, with Mercedes ordering the Finn not to engage in battle.
“Revert the cars into Turn 15 this lap,” the Black Arrows ordered and Bottas obliged, promoting Hamilton to P2.
The final obstacle to overcome in this great comeback was Leclerc, and how ironic that it was down the inside at Copse where Hamilton took P1, met by a roar from the capacity crowd. That P1 would become victory.
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