Marko: Red Bull "not treated the same" as Mercedes by FIA stewards

Helmut Marko believes Red Bull is “not treated the same” as Mercedes by the FIA stewards after a penalty ended Max Verstappen’s Saudi Arabia Formula 1 race win hopes.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton took victory after a number of incidents with Verstappen that saw both drivers air complaints over team radio about their title rival.

The most notable incidents came in wheel-to-wheel fights between the two drivers. Verstappen twice ran Hamilton deep at Turn 1, and was asked to give the position back on both occasions. He received one five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage off-track.

Verstappen slowed to allow Hamilton through at one point, only for the Mercedes to run into the rear of his Red Bull, leaving Hamilton’s front wing with damage. The stewards are set to investigate the incident post-race.

Red Bull was also left unhappy that Hamilton was more than 10 car lengths behind Verstappen en route to the grid at the first red flag restart, as well as believing Verstappen was forced wide at the final corner having allowed Hamilton back into the lead.

Red Bull advisor Marko called it an “extraordinary race”, but said that Red Bull was “not happy and we don't accept the decisions”.

“Our engineers are preparing that we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn't brake test like Hamilton said,” Marko told Autosport in Jeddah following the race.

“Then he crashed into our car, he unfortunately put two cuts in the rear tyre. That was so severe that we couldn't attack anymore. We had to take speed out.

“That was the one thing. The next thing was at the second start, Hamilton was more than 10 [car] lengths behind. [Sebastian] Vettel got penalised in Budapest when he did it. But with this manoeuvre he [Hamilton] was preparing his tyre better for the start.

“Then he pushed Max off, no reaction. So we feel we are not treated the same.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Hamilton was summoned over two incidents in final practice on Saturday, but the stewards did not take any major action, only handing him a reprimand for impeding. “It's a very one-side tending decision-making here,” Marko said.

Verstappen and Hamilton will now head into the Abu Dhabi season finale tied on points, with Verstappen sitting ahead of race wins.

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Hamilton said that Verstappen was “over the limit” in his driving approach, but Marko saw no need for the Red Bull driver to make any changes heading to Abu Dhabi.

“I don't think there is any reason why he should cool down,” Marko said.

“It's the match between Mercedes and Red Bull, and the match between Max and [Lewis].

“And just remember what happened in Silverstone, what's happened in Budapest. Don't forget that.”

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