Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2024

“No real danger” letting drivers make contact in low-speed corners – Marko

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen should not have been penalised for his collision with Lando Norris, said Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko, who claimed there was “no real danger” when the two made contact.

The pair collided on the 64th lap of the race at turn three. The stewards ruled Verstappen was “predominantly” to blame for the collision and said his penalty was in line with past precedents.

However Marko called the decision “incomprehensible” and claimed Norris was more to blame than Verstappen.

“Max and Lando were at, and sometimes over, the limit,” Marko told SpeedWeek. “But we must not forget: they were braking down to low speed there, no opponent was nearby, the run-off area is large, and there was no real danger. So why not let the two of them fight it out?

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Monza, 2021
Report: Norris clash shows stewards were too soft on Verstappen-Hamilton incidents – Stella
“The 10-second penalty for Max was incomprehensible to me because, in my opinion, Lando was more at fault. He wasn’t beyond the white line twice by accident.”

However Marko admitted the team should have warned Verstappen he did not need to fight hard against Norris once it became likely the McLaren driver would receive a time penalty for repeatedly exceeding the track limits.

Five laps before the pair collided, Norris exceeded the track limits at turn three. He has already been shown the black-and-white flag for committing three track limits violations and a fourth meant an automatic five-place grid penalty. Although Red Bull had told Verstappen about Norris’ warning, and the driver was aware the McLaren had gone off the track again, they did not explicitly state he was at risk of a penalty.

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“We could have told Max that an investigation was underway against Lando and that Norris would most likely receive a penalty, so Max should let his opponent go,” said Marko. “But something like that doesn’t fit with Max Verstappen’s DNA.”

Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Red Bull Ring, 2024
Analysis: Verstappen’s willingness to make contact paid off again, but has Norris noticed?
Race control noted Norris’ fourth track limits infringement one minute after it occured. A minute later they announced he was under investigation for committing multiple track limits infringements. His penalty was confirmed three minutes after that, while he and Verstappen were driving their damaged cars back to the pits.

Marko said race control should have decided Norris’ penalty more quickly. “I would have liked the track boundary penalty for Norris to have been imposed more quickly, then it would not have escalated,” he said. “The decision should have been made more quickly using all the means available to the race management.”

He doubts Norris would have beaten Verstappen even if the McLaren driver had successfully passed him. “We will never know whether Norris would have tried to get to the front and then pull away by five seconds to make up for a penalty. In my opinion, he would not have succeeded against Verstappen. But that also contributed to this escalation.”

He added he was unimpressed with Norris “complaining too whiningly on the radio” about Verstappen’s defensive moves, and said the McLaren driver went unpunished for a similar move at the previous grand prix. “I remember the start in Spain, where he pushed Max into the grass. There was no outcry or sanctions at the time.”

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Verstappen’s radio chatter after Norris’ fourth track limits strike

Lap: 59/71 VER: 1’10.646
Lambiase Gap 0.7.
Verstappen Norris goes down the inside of Verstappen at turn three, passes him and goes off the track
He overtook outside the track.
Lambiase Norris returns the position.
He already had black and white flags. He already had a black and white flag.
Verstappen [Sarcastic] Yeah, that’s my second penalty then. It’s super-clear.
Lambiase Just head down mate, head now.
Verstappen Yeah, I know. Come on.
Lap: 60/71 VER: 1’09.399
Lambiase I’m not entirely sure how it thinks you forced him off. Max. As in, Lando went straight up the inside, went too far.
Lap: 62/71 VER: 1’09.528
Lambiase Okay, let’s have mode seven Max. Gap 0.6.
Lap: 63/71 VER: 1’10.412
Verstappen Norris tries to pass Verstappen on the inside of turn three, the Red Bull driver runs wide and stays ahead
He forced me off again.
Lambiase It’s not clever, is it?
Verstappen He’s just dive-bombing, like, that’s not how you overtake.
Lap: 64/71 VER: 1’38.003
Verstappen Nice. Oh my god.
Lambiase Box Max. Box. Got rear-left puncture. Box.
Lambiase Tyre 13. Tyre one-three.
Lambiase Look out for the white line pit lane entry.
Lambiase And just a reminder strat 12 in pit lane.

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48 comments on ““No real danger” letting drivers make contact in low-speed corners – Marko”

  1. Does anyone actually listen to Marko these days?

    Struggle to remember the last time he added insight or value to any debate.

    1. Yeah he is always a bit extreme. I guess he does somewhere deep down have a point on 10sec for this vs getting 10 sec in copse for similar. The Austria one was more a clumsy minor touch. Still I understand if FIA wants to uphold the existing rule. I do, just like Peter Windsor has stated quite well, however not agree with its existence. But it is there and needs to be adhered to as long as it is there.

      1. silverstone one wasnt a minor touch ? and wasnt it Max sweeping across forcing it ?

        1. No, it wasn’t. As the stewards noted Hamilton had plenty of room on his inside.

          An inside he has always managed to find when racing others, mind. Even in that very same race.

          Both these guys acted like their worst selves in 2021.

          1. So HAM should have been able to drive on the inside in a high speed corner but VER shouldn’t be required to drive the inside of a low speed corner? Got it.

          2. Verstappen couldn’t make his car turn at the exit of T6 at the start in Silverstone, trying to force Hamilton off the road. The difference was Hamilton knew what Verstappen was up to and backed out in time, 2 corners later, Verstappen tried to pin it around the outside of a highspeed corner, nope, it didn’t work.

            Live by the sword, die by the sword, and all that.

        2. Not according to the stewards which labelled Lewis predominantly to blame and handed him a 10s penalty.

          1. Predominantly, doesnt mean solely, Both could have gave the other more room, But you know in the words of Horner ( when Max is predominantly at fault ), it was just hard racing and you know, they made contact, it happens, its racing.

          2. Silverstone all started in the Sprint race the day before.
            Max didn’t yield when Lewis stuck his car up the inside so Lewis did yield (rightly or wrongly, depends who you support I suppose).
            Main race, same scenario, Lewis decided he wasn’t going to yield that time & Max decided the same.
            Now there are other cars that can compete with Max he will not change how he races. So its for the competition to play him at the same game. Great for us spectators.
            Hopefully we will have another hard charging race this weekend.

        3. silverstone one wasnt a minor touch ? and wasnt it Max sweeping across forcing it ?

          Sort of correct, the touch was very minor and wouldn’t have occurred at all if Max hadn’t aimed solidly at the apex of the corner about 2-3 feet too soon. I don’t think he was forcing it, more a case of the usual F1 driver chop-across-the-front, but slightly misjudged.

          Max fans can replay it as many times as they like until they see what could have been better for Max, but the fact is, even without Lewis yielding, the touch, and subsequent gravel trap tour would not have happened if Max had aimed slightly left of where he chose.
          In relative performance terms, LH in the Merc was better through the corners and would have put a gap in before the straight line performance of RBR closed it again. Could have gone on for many laps.

  2. Absolute clown, who cares about fair racing and sporting integrity. Mind you, the FIA doesn’t seem to either.

    1. Red Bull has a habit of reframing the issue. It usually works quite well for them.

      But that’s not the issue at hand. So whatever the merits of their point, it’s irrelevant.

  3. Typical Marko

  4. Yeah, the low-speed corners are safe. Especially those after long straights. Like turn 3 in Albert Park. There was no real dangerous moment, especially for Nando and Esteban.

  5. “I would have liked the track boundary penalty for Norris to have been imposed more quickly, then it would not have escalated,”

    Nonsense (like everything else he said). If Norris already had a 5 second penalty, it would have been more urgent to get past so he could try to get a 5 seconds gap. And since he didn’t go off track during the incident, it makes no difference anyway.

    1. Not to mention, he is essentially arguing that the stewards should have declared Verstappen the winner of the race to avoid escalation. I don’t think that is a sustainable solution as it is unlikely that the stewards will be able to hand out penalties every time Verstappen is about to be overtaken.

  6. This is Marko’s value to RBR.

    He doesn’t mind embarrassing himself saying things so daft that no-one else would dare to say them.

  7. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    2nd July 2024, 11:51

    I’m actually more surprised that Marko didn’t try to pin the blame on Horner for all this.

    1. Or on Ocon.

  8. Marko doesn’t see the need for a penalty.

    I think he will find that the operative words in the judgement are “Before turning in, the
    driver of Car 1 moved to the left,
    causing a collision with Car 4″

    The stewards’ judgement was that the cause of the collision was a move left that he made at a corner where he was already to the right, having decided to defend the right.
    The rules specifically prohibit changing direction in the braking zone.

    1. What is the difference between Verstappen vs. Norris and Hülkenberg vs. Pérez, both occurring in the same lap and corner? The only distinction seems to be that Norris did not follow (go parallel with) the ideal racing line, whereas Pérez did. If you observe the movements of all the drivers just before this corner, you’ll notice that they all moved from the middle in a straight line toward the left side of the track, brake and then aim for the apex. I’m curious how race control adhere to the principles of maintaining your line. Specifically, are you referring to the track itself or the racing line? Track itself is just silly, you move yourself more and more out of position, no driver would do that.

  9. No real danger in slow speed corners? Maybe someone should show him a picture of Verstappens 700kg car sitting on Hamilton’s head in Monza.

    This guy needs to disappear from F1.

    1. Maybe in the past, but there’s halo nowadays, and even in that monza incident, which can withstand several tons, let alone 700 kg.

      1. That’s actually and insane take.

  10. This from Marko is why Max needs to get away from Red Bull, if you don’t learn from your mistakes your doomed to repeat them.
    And as for “no real danger” this has got to be one of the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard, you can be injured in a crash doing as little as 5mph, let alone doing 60-70mph with the cars liable to be thrown in the air due to being open wheeled.
    In a way this has made me angry as what sort of message does it show to up an coming drivers, and I don’t mean just racing drivers…

  11. So an interesting take from marko. No surprise of course but nevertheless a well balanced opinion.
    He certainly has a point.
    The statements of johhny Herbert, one of the stewards during this race are way more concerning.
    They seemed very biassed and you should adl if such a biassed steward is acceptable.

    1. Herbert as steward almost always equals a penalty for Max. If there was ever a biased person, it is him. It is a farce he is allowed in the stewards room.

      1. Mmm, I’m not sure, maybe he’s especially harsh on everyone? Because people said earlier on this season he’s biased towards alonso and ricciardo too.

        1. Yes and all three have one thing in common

    2. Lol, its like a cult, you just cant admit Max has ever done anything wrong ever and its all everybody else’s fault. Its quite a new comical dimension to F1 that I never thought I’d see outside of religion or politics…
      The rest of the season has put F1 back at the top of my ‘must watch’ list… :-)

    3. Regardless of the merits here, I can’t believe that a steward could publicly make statements that contradict the official Stewards Report.

    4. Well balanced in your opinion means heavily biased towards Verstappen and the other bullies. Biased in your opinion means well balanced.

      1. I see some self reflection in your lines, good!
        Now some logic and maybe in the future….

        1. Logic is not the strength of your bias

  12. Clearly a clone of Bernie shaped like Marko.

  13. What an incredibly nonsensical thing to say.

  14. Time to add bumpers to the cars then, if the intention is to let them make contact intentionally.

    What an absurd comment.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      2nd July 2024, 16:32

      slots might work; and then they don’t need a battery anymore.

  15. The tire-rubbing between Verstappen and Norris was not dangerous, Marko is right there. That crash wouldn’t even be debated, if it had been between Sargeant and Zhou.

    What was much more dangerous at turn 3 were the dive-bombs by Hülkenberg and Norris, pushing the other driver of track, or by Alonso, crashing into Zhou. As Alonso showed, these dive-bombs can result in a much faster car hitting the other car in the side – a much more dangerous situation than some wheel-banging.

    1. The tire-rubbing between Verstappen and Norris was not dangerous, Marko is right there. That crash wouldn’t even be debated, if it had been between Sargeant and Zhou.

      The actual contact isn’t really the issue, the collision was a side effect of the broken rule regarding two moves in the braking zone.
      Which, since Max says this was his standard approach to the corner, if applied on all instances would probably have had him penalised to a classification of three hours later.
      Let the arguments commence.

  16. Ok, so you can simply crash into your opponent at low speed corners. Bully style.

  17. Yeah, low speed crashes are totally fine and should be allowed….
    https://youtu.be/XEA4MSC5n5M

    1. Wow, that surprised me, I had never seen that incident and wouldn’t have thought you could flip a car at that speed.

      1. Exactly, multiply this by 4 or 5 and you get this…
        https://youtu.be/rwRnIjT01ZQ
        And this will start to occur if travelling at an angle or weaving in a braking zone is not stamped out….

  18. I’m sure Marko would have a very different opinion had this been any of the other 3 RB drivers

  19. I don’t think the penalty was based on how dangerous the accident was, Max got a penalty for causing a collision which took an opponent out of the race.

  20. Translation: I know Max was in the wrong, therefore I’ll try to spin it so it comes across as no big deal.

Comments are closed.