Helmut Marko, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2020

Marko story Hamilton reacted to was false, publisher admits

2020 F1 season

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The publisher of a story about Helmut Marko which prompted a fierce reaction from Lewis Hamilton on social media has retracted it and admitted the quote it was based on was false.

The website, Essentially Sports, has now given over its entire home page to promoting an article titled “Dr Helmut Marko – an apology”. It concedes the article was based on information obtained from a fake Twitter account and not, as it previously stated, German broadcaster RTL.

“Earlier today we published an article containing quotes attributed to Dr Helmut Marko,” it states.

“The quotes attributed to him were incorrect. The source of the information was not ‘RTL’ and instead a parody Twitter account.

“It was wrong for us to publish the news story without first establishing the veracity of the information. We sincerely apologise to Dr Helmut Marko and to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.”

The site has removed the original article and a follow-up piece which contained the same quotes.

Hamilton has also deleted his social media posts in which he criticised Marko and Red Bull.

The original article claimed Marko made references to Hamilton’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which the world champion has drawn attention to in recent weeks following the killing of George Floyd in America and the protests which arose from it.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Marko story Hamilton reacted to was false, publisher admits”

  1. Will Lewis do the same?

    1. No excuses but

      Hamilton has also deleted his social media posts in which he criticised Marko and Red Bull.

    2. Doubtful, he’s above that.

      1. Neither Lewis or Marko owe any apology here. Those that do have issued one.

        1. He really does need to apologise to Marko. He publicly crucified Marko based on false information in front of his 17 million followers and 100+ Millions who read about it on the news and forums.

          You can’t get away with that by just simply deleting the message and act like it never happened.

        2. @gongtong I beg to differ

    3. Who knows ? He maybe did apologize directly to Marko. It doesn’t necessarily need to be public and published on social media everytime.

      1. @arhn
        In this case it does.
        A decent person would post an excuse on the same medium he made the accusation!
        And now we’re gonna find out how decent Lewis is.

        1. I see your point but I disagree. I personnally consider that this is a matter between Lewis Hamilton and Helmut Marko. Lewis owes an apology to Marko, not to the public, so there is no necessity for the whole world to know about it.

          Either way, my point was that we should not assume that Hamilton did not apologize to Marko just because it has not been shared on the social media.

          1. @arhn When you tell lies about someone in front of hundred million people it is not a personal or private thing anymore. Hamilton made a huge public error, he needs to make a huge public apology to offset the damage he did. Simply deleting the tweet is dishonest and lazy and to me tells more about he wants to hide his mistake instead of fix things he broke. The world needs to know this because hamilton wanted the world to know about his accusation too.

          2. @arhn
            Like I said: “A decent person.”

          3. @arhn go look in the comments section of the original news story. See all those people talking smack about helmet Marko? How many people saw the first article, but not the correction? How many people will just go on with their lives thinking helmut Marko is obviously some POS?

            How is this not slander?

      2. @arhn so it’s ok to Publicly label someone a raycis? In 2020? And then just a casual “oh hey sorry bud” undoes it all?

        Naaaaaaaah. I want a public apology TO THE PUBLIC, for needlessly stoking the racial tensions around the world so he can feel slightly more “woke”. That’s NOT OK. Lewis is actually making racism worse, rather than better. He is now in the same category as jussie smolette, someone who wants to play the victim so badly, they’ll find a way, anyway, to become that victim. Frankly it’s disgusting that race fans helps in the process.

    4. More interesting is that both Hamilton and many commenters here were quite ‘trigger happy’, and that there was a lot of ‘profiling’ (he could’ve said it) included in those accusations.

      We should all fight racism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice, but at the same time accept that we are all human beings and that nobody is perfect.

      1. This kind of thing happens all the time. The people involved in these kinds of things seem all to happy to ruin someone’s life over a fake tweet in some cases. All the while feeling good about themselves. Helmut is lucky to be rich and famous. Had this happened to a normal bloke his life would be ruined. He’d be labelled for the rest of his life, lost his job and had to suffer months of abuse online.

  2. racing can’t come soon enough, I guess

  3. Neil (@neilosjames)
    17th June 2020, 21:31

    I didn’t have a particular source website in mind when I clicked this link, but seeing ‘Essentially Sports’ provoked no great surprise. Read a few things on there (before I realised what it was)… don’t know for sure, but it looks more like an amateur click-me-blog than a professional sports site.

    Hopefully Hamilton/whoever he got it from will know better than to trust them in the future.

    1. Yeah, I’m happy some media feeds allow you to block certain sources. That website pops up often somehow, but it is blocked now!

      What a joke site!

      1. I literally only read this website for F1 news, yet I’m always seeing ads for their clickbait headlines.

        1. EssentiallySports should rebrand itself as EssentiallyCrap. Cos thats they are

    2. @neilosjames Yeah, it’s a clickfarm. The amount of absolutely baseless rubbish that they publish is incredible. They can probably make money from it simply because they don’t have to spend any time actually researching things, they just make stuff up.

  4. Whoops! Hammy got jebaited!

  5. SHOCKING. Total fake news. You should be ashamed of yourselves admins.

  6. Cool!

    And I would have thought such thing are possible only in WWE…

    Wouldn’t be surprised if a certain Twitter account belongs to some Liberty employee…

  7. Essentially Sports is one of the most annoying click-bait pages I have ever seen, and somehow it pops up on every feed more than any other credible website.

    1. Dreadful. At least they’ve owned up to it.

  8. You would expect wiser reactions from a grown-up man, fact checking should be definitely on Hamilton’s list.

    1. To be fair, he should be able to expect legitimate news stories from websites run by other grown folk.

      1. It isn’t his first day on the Internet I hope?

      2. Not really. This time he overstepped a bit. One doesn’t simply believe anything said on websites. He should have confirmed it before reacting, not sure why he didn’t bother.

  9. The “Marko” story should never have aired here. What are we? There were enough red flags!

    1. The ‘”Marko” story’ never ‘aired here’, @blik.
      It was a story about a verified social media post by Hamilton. It merely included a reference to an alleged quote by Marko as that trigger Hamilton’s post and mentioned that that quote was not verified.

      I was actually quite impressed how cautious the original article here was; less impressed with the comment section though.

      1. The Marko story did air here. It never broke here. Keith should know Marko better than all of us as should LH. No homework. Sloppy!

        1. @blik The article was about Hamilton’s response—which was real and verifiable. It’s actually important for sites like this to report on it to provide context around Hamilton’s post for those of us who avoid crappy news sources and never saw the original article.

          Moreover, there will no doubt be other less credible news sources reporting about it who wouldn’t even bother to check that the original source of Marko’s comment was (un)verified (which turned out to be a key factor).

          Not sloppy at all, and exactly what @keithcollantine should be doing.

          1. exactly, @justrhysism.
            Maybe @blik should use ‘his other eye’ when reading articles and comments here ;)

          2. It is sloppy. The only reason “marko is a raycis” entered my news world, was this very site.
            They can pretend theyre just covering a tweet, but the truth is, they propagated this story.

  10. I hope Marko sues that entity into oblivion.

    1. Maybe if Dr Marko didn’t have such spectacular form for running his mouth….I mean if Szafnauer had tweeted that, it would’ve rung alarm bells, right?

  11. Sharaf Sharaf
    18th June 2020, 14:19

    that website is always posting misleading headlines and false content ! it is so unprofessional! zero ethisc

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