Marko defends Verstappen over Hamilton move

Oct.11 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at those critical of Max Verstappen’s driving in the Japanese grand prix.

F1 teen sensation Verstappen’s aggressive style has often been condemned in 2016, but Mercedes initially lodged an official protest against his defence of Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of Sunday’s Suzuka race.

Hamilton claimed the 19-year-old had illegally moved in the braking zone, but Marko is quoted by Osterreich newspaper as retorting: “Whoever cannot get past with a Mercedes engine and DRS should calm down.

“At 19 years old, Max is already able to hold off a triple world champion. And on tyres that were five laps older.”

Verstappen clearly agrees with his Red Bull boss, insisting that even though Hamilton is fighting for the world title “I will not just open the door and say ‘Come past’.

“Of course I saw him move, so I closed the door. I think he was far enough back to see what I was doing,” said the Dutchman.

Marko also told the Swiss newspaper Blick: “With two laps to go, Max is not going to put on the turn signal.”

Although the FIA did not penalise Verstappen, it is believed Charlie Whiting did seek out the 19-year-old for private talks.

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