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Lewis Hamilton

Marko: Hamilton's tactics in Verstappen battle won't work in long run

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko doesn't think that Hamilton can continue to pull off such moves without risk.

Hamilton Verstappen rain Imola
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To news overview © Mercedes

Dr Helmut Marko believes that Lewis Hamilton cannot continue to engage in the sort of wheel-to-wheel battle he took to Max Verstappen in Imola without damaging the car at some point.

The championship contenders were engaged in a duel for the lead during the opening laps of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Verstappen pulled off an aggressive overtake on Hamilton and, with the Briton determined to hold on, there looked to be a brief moment of contact between the two.

Marko thinks that Hamilton was fortunate to escape without further damage and so he doesn't see that the seven-times world champion would be willing to continually battle like this in the future due to the risk involved.

"I was surprised in Imola that Hamilton - even though he was on the outside lane - held his own like that," Marko told Sky Sports. "He can count himself lucky that he didn't break more on the car when he went over the kerbs.

"So I don't think that's going to work in the long run."

Verstappen eventually emerged victorious in what was an eventful Grand Prix in mixed weather conditions. Hamilton benefited from a red flag mid-race; the Mercedes driver had slipped down the order following a slide off track, but was able to work his way back through the field following the restart and finished in second place.

The battle between the two continues in Portugal, with Hamilton so far getting the better of Verstappen in qualifying. The Briton will line up in second place on the grid behind teammate Valtteri Bottas whilst Verstappen starts in third.

Marko has claimed that Hamilton used mind games against Verstappen in the third free practice session of the weekend.

"We saw today that Hamilton went extra slow and thus destroyed Max's lap," the Red Bull advisor said.

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