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- Hamilton on why Mercedes will triumph in 2018 and it is not due to the W09
- Alonso reveals why he did not quit F1 despite leaning towards exit
- Vettel offers crisp reply to Ferrari critics
- Hamilton’s ‘oompa loompa’ ex-girlfriend reveals champion’s strange toilet demand
- Hamilton helps Mercedes bag sponsorship deal
- Verstappen responds to Wolff’s early season prediction
- Ferrari boss opens door to staying in F1 if Liberty Media follows instruction
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- Updated: October 10, 2017
The Japanese Grand Prix was another step in the right direction for Red Bull, who saw both their drivers finish on the podium.
Not only did this give them valuable points for the constructors’ championship, it also perhaps helped reinforce to both drivers that the team would be more competitive next year.
However, one crew member at the team felt the result could have even been better, if not for one obstacle: Williams driver Felipe Massa.
The veteran Brazilian driver was running near the 20-year old Red Bull pilot in the closing stages of last weekend’s race.
Massa was not in contention for a podium finish, but some have argued that he may have kept Verstappen from going past in the hunt for a first place finish.
Helmut Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor, was enraged by the incident and released a statement to broadcaster ORF on the situation.
“Max had the pace to attack Hamilton,” he said. “It cannot be that when the leaders approach, you only move over after so many corners. Without the episode, we would have had an exciting end. It would be better if Massa simply retires.”
While Massa had retired last year, only to make a comeback after Valtteri Bottas shifted to Mercedes, you would think that these comments won’t go down too well with him.
When asked for his thoughts about the situation, Massa explained that it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The problem is that I let Lewis by on the straight and then you had so many Esses,” Massa said. “I was behind Lewis, losing, being very close to him so I was going to let Max past after corner seven, which is what I did,” he said.
“So at the end when I get to sector one, it is very difficult to park the car. I was fighting with Fernando, as well,” he added. “I understand that maybe it was the last lap, a nice fight for you guys to see on the television, but I did maybe five corners, one after the other and then I let him by.”