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Helmut Marko

Marko explains FIA concerns: Wolff tried to influence the stewards

People just can't stop talking about Max Verstappen's crash at the British Grand Prix. Helmut Marko explains why the FIA were concerned about Red Bull's accusations against Toto Wolff and the stewards.

Hamilton Verstappen start 2021 Silverstone
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To news overview © Mercedes

The story of Max Verstappen's crash in Britain is well known by now. A fierce battle took place with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap, which ended in tears when the Briton parked his car partly next to Verstappen's on the way to Copse corner and the title rivals collided. The Dutchman crashed out and saw his race come to a disappointing end.

Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty and eventually won the race, but Red Bull felt that was too light a penalty for the offence. They requested a right of review, which was followed by a new hearing attended by representatives of Red Bull, Mercedes and the FIA stewards. The Austrian team saw its right of review rejected and the stewards expressed their dissatisfaction with 'certain accusations made by Red Bull'.

Speaking to Motorsport Magazin, Marko explained what he believes was the exact reason for the passage in the stewards' document, with the FIA not revealing what it was about. Mercedes themselves would not comment, but when they issued a statement condemning Red Bull and said the team were trying to undermine Hamilton's sporting integrity, it looked like they had accused the British driver of something.

That, however, was not the case. According to Marko, the issue was that Red Bull felt Wolff had tried to influence the stewards.

"What we have put forward in our argument is that it cannot be the case that a team boss, in this case Toto Wolff, goes to the stewards during the decision-making process with questionable documents," he condemned the leader of major rival Mercedes.

"It was an internal Mercedes paper and in our view that is clear influence on the stewards.

"Fortunately, soon after the race a directive came out from the FIA stating that such actions are absolutely prohibited and impossible."

Asked if he feels he has been treated well by the global motorsport federation, he says he does.

"At Red Bull we generally feel we've been treated correctly by the FIA," the Red Bull advisor said.

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