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Marko on Hamilton contract: 'That of 2021 is too entrenched with Max'

Marko on Hamilton contract: 'That of 2021 is too entrenched with Max'

24-11-2023 07:30

At Red Bull Racing, they are all very sure: Lewis Hamilton (at least representative) has indeed contacted the Austrians. The seven-time world champion himself stresses that he knows nothing about it, but Helmut Marko does not buy it. Yet Hamilton was never an option as Max Verstappen's teammate, the 80-year-old Austrian tells us.

The saga began with Christian Horner's interview with a British tabloid in which he revealed that someone from the Hamilton camp had approached Red Bull to explore the possibilities - to a possible switch. Hamilton denies this, and Horner insists he is not lying. Marko too is certain: there has been contact.

No Hamilton-Verstappen

"Yes. But Verstappen and Hamilton in one team, that doesn't work," Marko told OE24. "With Max, what happened in 2021 is too deep-rooted." By this, the Red Bull adviser refers to the crash two years ago at the Silverstone circuit. At Copse, Hamilton and Verstappen touched. The Dutchman crashed into the wall at 54G and ended up in hospital. Hamilton took a penalty and went on to win the race.

Mercedes are now going through a much tougher time. Mercedes have only won one race since the 2021 season. "Has it been that long already? But we are not going to reach out to them for that," said Marko. "Our huge success is largely based on the fact that none of our rivals could even come close to our speed in the longruns. While at the front we constantly maintained that pace, there were ups and downs behind us: it was always just short upturns from McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes."

Marko on Vegas and time difference

At 80, Marko is one of the oldest on the paddock, still attending almost all F1 races. For him too, he is getting used to the fact that compared to last week, there is a 12-hour time difference. "I'm doing well. I'm on the beach in Abu Dhabi and slowly recovering. Las Vegas, that was definitely on the limit. You didn't know whether to go for breakfast or dinner. In the end, everyone was exhausted," he concluded about last week's overnight sessions.