Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has bashed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for his empty threat that led to the ousting of race director Michael Masi.

Last season, Max Verstappen managed to clinch his maiden drivers’ championship. However, the result was fraught with controversy after Masi’s questionable decision-making at the end.

Hamilton remained relatively quiet in front of the media and even seemed to accept his defeat in a rather mature way.

Instead of publically belittling Masi after the controversy that robbed him off a record-breaking eighth world championship, Hamilton chose not to give any interviews.

He also completely zoned out from all forms of social media.

However, Marko has asserted that while Hamilton made it seem like he was taking the high road, he was actually plotting against Masi and wanted his removal at all costs.

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: racefans.net

“There were clear indications that Hamilton would not stop because there was no movement in the driver market,” Marko told RTL.

“If Hamilton had informed Mercedes that he would take a step back, they would have started looking for a replacement en masse. However, that was not the case, not noticeable.

“While he was silent in front of us, he only wanted to show his dissatisfaction with the situation and the decisions. Part of that behaviour subsequently also led to Masi being removed from his role.

“I don’t think it’s right. You have to look at his performances over the years. If Masi had everything they are going to enter now at his disposal, it would have been easier for him to decide, a video referee and an advisor by his side.

“Michael is now being sacrificed for that.”

How the tables turned on Hamilton

In the final race of the season, Hamilton led Verstappen by 10 seconds with just five laps to go.

This is a significant lead and it seemed like Hamilton was destined to lift his eighth titie.

Michael Masi. Credit: sportskeeda.com

As luck would have it, a crash by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi necessitated the arrival of safety cars.

This gave Verstappen the chance to catch up with Hamilton and pit for new tyres.

There were five cars between the two before the crash, but they were allowed to unlap themselves. This meant that it would be a direct tussle between Hamilton and Verstappen in the final couple of laps.

Verstappen lifted his first championship in utterly bizarre circumstances as a result.

Hamilton as hungry as ever

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: planetf1.com

Hamilton is back this year with a vengeance as he hopes to go one better. The seven-time world champion recently spoke about how he has never been as hungry to perform.

“Naturally, I think at the end of any season, probably for those that are around my age, of course you’re thinking about the future,” he said.

“You’re thinking about, what are the next steps? What are the right steps for you to take, and what’s right for you in terms of overall happiness?

“So I always evaluate all my options. I love being a part of a team. I love working with – and I’ve said it so many times – everyone towards a common goal.

“And I feel at my best, so why do I need to leave?”

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