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Helmut Marko

Marko hits out at Verstappen-Norris battle

A battle between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris ended in disaster during the Austrian Grand Prix, with the pair colliding towards the end of the race.

Verstappen Norris Austria crash
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has hit out at the “unnecessarily fierce” battle between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris during the Austrian Grand Prix.

The pair clashed on lap 64 of the race, resulting in major damage for Norris who was forced to retire.

Verstappen suffered a puncture and returned to the pit lane for new tyres but was hit with a 10-second time penalty and two penalty points on his superlicence en route to fifth place.

Speaking to ServusTV, Marko highlighted that multiple factors allowed Norris to close up.

"We lost the victory due to several factors,” Marko said. “The fact that our pit stop went wrong, which put Lando in DRS range. 

“It was our expectation that the hard tyres would be the better choice, but that turned out not to be the case. The temperatures were lower than expected.

"That meant Lando had new tyres in his last stint and we were on used. That was also a factor. Max also locked up after his stop in Turn 4. All that together made it difficult for us.”

Marko rues failure to intervene

Norris' pursuit of Verstappen saw him exceed track limits on multiple occasions, leading to an investigation that would result in a five-second time penalty.

Marko suggested Red Bull should have intervened before they engaged in a battle on the track.

"I think they both drove unnecessarily fiercely,” Marko said. 

“In doing so, maybe we should have intervened as well, because we knew there was an investigation going on about Lando and track limits. We just didn't know yet if he would be punished.

"With hindsight you can then say, 'okay, let him go.' But let's look on the bright side: we increased our lead in both the drivers' and constructors' championships."

"It was a great fight until it somehow degenerated. Who brakes where, who grabs more track limits, instead of focusing on a fair finish."

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