Nov.18 - Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko is worried that Lewis Hamilton's current level of performance will cost Max Verstappen his first Formula 1 title.

A fresh engine in Brazil - despite the back-of-the-grid penalty - powered Mercedes' Hamilton to a dominant win, closing his points gap to the Dutchman to 14 points.

"I've never seen a Mercedes rocket motor like this before," Austrian Marko, the top Red Bull official, told Sport1.

"We couldn't keep him behind us on the straight, even though he was driving with a rear wing that belonged in Monaco.

"But only Hamilton has this speed - the other Mercedes drivers are no cause of concern for us," the 78-year-old Austrian added.

With just three races to go in 2021, Red Bull's earlier advantage appears now to be slipping away.

"If Hamilton is just as superior in Qatar and then Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, we can write off the title," Marko said.

Some, though, are expecting Hamilton's engine advantage to start to dwindle from Qatar.

"We're not yet 100 percent comfortable with the reliability," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. "But what we know for sure is that the longer we drive, the more we lose performance."

The head-to-head fight is also continuing to spill into an equally intense off-track war.

On Thursday, the FIA will hear Mercedes' arguments about potentially having a retrospective penalty imposed on Verstappen for his turn 4 move in Brazil.

Red Bull, on the other hand, still has some arrows in the quiver.

"We are mainly concerned with two things that we may also bring up with the FIA for clarification," said Marko, who is believed to be referring to rear wing flexibility concerns.

The other theory, based on on-board video from Brazil, is that Hamilton is tilting his steering wheel to lower his car's ride height at high speed.

"But there will only be a protest when we have evidence that something about Hamilton's car does not comply with the rules," Marko added.

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8 F1 Fan comments on “Red Bull gathering evidence on Mercedes for new protest?

  1. Steve

    The FIA should issue a directive to have cars start from the pit lane when they have an engine change. Mercedes could introduce a new engine every race and win from last. To change an engine and just get a five place grid penalty is not a deterrent. And takes away the objective of having reliability as a factor in completing races with just 3 engines.

    • Jere Jyrälä

      I disagree. Pit lane start is only for Parc Ferme breaches, & an engine change (or any PU component for that matter) alone isn't one unless for a different spec copy.

  2. Oldtwit

    This is the trouble with F1 today it's all about business, nothing sportsman about it any more.
    Too many rules that have been written by lawyers for lawyers to make money on down the line just like everyday life.
    Shame on the FIA for allowing it to get this bad....

  3. F1FaNG

    "But there will only be a protest when we have evidence that something about Hamilton's car does not comply with the rules," Marko added.

    Get the evidence first and then you can protest all you like. This is like a drowning man clutching at straws to save his life.

  4. Ray

    "Maar er zal alleen protest zijn als we bewijs hebben dat iets aan de auto van Hamilton niet aan de regels voldoet", voegde Marko eraan toe.

    Krijg eerst het bewijs en dan kun je protesteren wat je wilt. Dit is als een drenkeling die zich vastklampt aan rietjes om zijn leven te redden.

    "Dit is alleen maar dreigen om het in de volgende 3 races uit de auto te laten halen! ....want stel je eens voor als het er echt zit en je wordt betrapt....

  5. shroppyfly

    Im beginning to warm to Masi, Hamilton come on ...set an example to the young as your always saying we should do , or just break the rules...and then claim, as he did in one pen interview maybe its because im black....

    FIA race director Michael Masi says Lewis Hamilton undoing his safety belt while driving is “not acceptable” behaviour in setting an example to youngsters.

    Hamilton was fined €5,000 for releasing his safety belt on the cooldown lap after winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, with an extra €20,000 suspended until the end of 2022 – the FIA citing that Formula 1 drivers are role models and should be “sending a message” throughout the rest of motorsport.

    In their written ruling on the matter, the FIA clarified they are “sympathetic to the desire to celebrate” after a win. However, “it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion. Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.

    “Further, F1 drivers set the example for junior categories,” the statement continued. “It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.”
    Masi reiterated the intention of the FIA is not to halt drivers celebrating – as loosening their harnesses is permitted after the race – but detaching them fully is a safety issue.

    Obviously, everyone knows that rule. It’s been discussed before as well, probably, I’ll guess around 18 months ago,” Masi told on the subject.

    “And then I’m well aware it was discussed in Charlie’s [Whiting] time. Drivers were reminded that obviously on cooldown laps, there’s no problem loosening their belts but they need to remain fully attached.

    “And it’s a safety item. I think the stewards have made it quite clear in their decision that it’s not about stopping celebrations at all.

    “But at the pinnacle of motorsport it’s a safety issue, but also it’s sending a message all the way through that that type of behaviour is not acceptable.”

    Hamilton and Mercedes--The rule breakers***

    Come on Max, one more Win your almost there...

  6. Julia Eliot-Roy

    Red Bull are again behaving like spoiled toddlers- as they always do if the racing doesn't go their way. They constantly grumble about Mercedes as a team,and are the most unsporting in their comments. Just get on with the racing. Too much hot air.


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