Helmut Marko has apologized and acknowledged that his accusation that Max Verstappen did not brake hard in front of Lewis Hamilton in Saudi Arabia was incorrect.
After almost colliding earlier on the same track, the two title challengers collided after Verstappen slowed dramatically in front of Hamilton to allow the Mercedes driver to pass him.
The Dutchman wanted to give up the position there because whoever was in front heading into the next stretch would have DRS, and when Hamilton delayed for the very same reason, he slammed the brakes harder, leading the reigning champion to hit the rear of him.
The Red Bull driver was eventually given a 10-second penalty for his actions, which Marko later claimed was unfair because the team had evidence that he hadn’t slammed on the brakes any harder shortly before Hamilton touched him.
“We feel we have been treated unfairly. We are working to prove Max’s braking pressure did not increase when he crashed with Hamilton,” said the Austrian.
“Hamilton simply misjudged and drove into Max’s car. Unfortunately, that left two big cuts in our rear tyre. That’s why we couldn’t attack anymore.”
He has now recanted, stating that his claims were incorrect and apologizing for them.
He claims that the information he was relying on was provided to him by Red Bull engineers but was later proven to be incorrect.
“At the time of the television interview, I passed on exactly the information that I had previously received from the engineers,” he told f1-insider.com.
“They obviously weren’t right, so I’m sorry.”
Hamilton eventually won the race and set the best lap, tying him with Verstappen in points heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
If neither of them scored points there, the 24-year-old would win the championship since he has more wins, prompting speculation that he would collide with the seven-time World Champion.
Marko, on the other hand, says he won’t use such techniques and is convinced he won’t have to.
“Hopefully the sad chapter of Saudi Arabia has now closed,” he added.
“In any case, we’re just looking ahead. We want to win in Abu Dhabi and so win the title. We will do everything for this, but we will not take any unfair actions.
“In Saudi Arabia, we already had the pace to keep up with Hamilton. The route in Abu Dhabi should be more accommodating to us.”