F1: Red Bull's Verstappen gets in shape for new season
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An Austrian newspaper is reporting that Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko says they could consider legal action after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were involved in a high-speed crash at the British Grand Prix that landed the Dutchman in hospital.
Verstappen, who started on pole, had the weaker of the starts off the line as Hamilton chased him down from second place to try and gain control of the race.
The Dutchman defended hard as the pair entered Turn Nine, Copse Corner, with Verstappen on the outside of the track.
The pair tangled as Verstappen’s right rear made contact with Hamilton’s front left, sending the 23-year-old spinning across the gravel and directly into the tyre wall.
The Red Bull driver clambered out of the car, visibly winded from the shunt, and was transferred for further checks at a local hospital, before being discharged later that evening with no major injuries.
Team principal Christian Horner was left fuming, branding Hamilton a “dirty driver” who drove like an “amateur” while Marko demanded the FIA slap him with a race ban.
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In the latest installment from the fallout, however, Marko told Austria’s Kronen Zeitung that Red Bull is now considering whether a heavier penalty can still be imposed on Hamilton, with the help of a lawyer.
“He should check what you could do in such a situation within the framework of the sports law,” Marko said.
“It was very lucky that nothing serious happened to Max, the car, and probably the engine too is broken. You can’t let that sit on you. A suspension would be justified.”
Hamilton was hit with a ten-second time penalty, which he served during the race, yet, Marko believed it wasn’t a tough enough punishment.
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“That’s ridiculous. But maybe the regulations are also to blame for being relatively restricted, the law should be revised, including the steward’s system.
“[Sergio] Perez got five seconds twice in Austria because there was marginal contact without anyone flying off.
“You could have given a pit-through penalty plus ten seconds at Hamilton. But they didn’t do that either, ” raged Marko.
“Max was on his line, where Hamilton was, he has to take off the gas.
“You can’t ride your opponent on the rear wheel in one of the fastest corners, the lightest touch has fatal consequences.
“So it was an irresponsible action. Hamilton needs to know what the consequences are.”
Verstappen still leads the driver standings but had a 33-point lead slashed to just eight thanks to the crash.
Red Bull’s lead in the Constructors’ Championship also took a beating and was cut from 47 to just four over Mercedes.
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