‘Mercedes driver Ocon deserved a race ban’

Date published: November 12 2018

Helmut Marko is crying foul after Max Verstappen collided with Esteban Ocon at the Brazilian GP, the clash meaning another Mercedes driver – Lewis Hamilton – won the race.

Verstappen was the man to beat in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as his RB14 showed supreme pace compared to the Mercedes and Ferraris.

The Dutchman was able to easily user his fresher tyres, courtesy of a longer first stint, to overtake Hamilton to lead the grand prix.

However, disaster struck on lap 44 when Ocon went to unlap himself.

Two laps down on Verstappen, he took the inside line only for the two to collide at Turn 1.

Both spun with Verstappen losing the lead, and the grand prix, to Hamilton.

Marko was livid.

“A Mercedes driver, who is promised a seat for 2020, that crashes into the leading car – unbelievable,” the Red Bull advisor told Germany’s Motorsport-Magazin.

“They should have told him ‘this is the leader, he has new tyres, don’t attack him.’

“And then this idiot gets a ten-second penalty. I would have expected a race ban.”

Mercedes refused to rise to the bait.

Asked about Marko’s comments, motorsport boss Toto Wolff told ESPN: “This is how Dr Marko sees the world and I want to leave it with that.

“I don’t want to go on this level. We have a fifth world championship to celebrate today.”