Lewis Hamilton labelled ‘theatrical’ by Red Bull’s Helmut Marko after Dutch GP

F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar

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Red Bull boss Helmut Marko labelled reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton ‘theatrical’ after the Mercedes driver complained about his tyres during the Dutch Grand Prix. Hamilton and Max Verstappen are locked in a bitter title battle, with the Dutchman reclaiming the championship lead.

He was named the winner of the aborted Belgian Grand Prix last month and held his nerve during the 72-lap race at Zandvoort on Sunday to assume the lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, holding a three point lead over the Brit.

Hamilton commented about the state of his tyres throughout the race, including one remark as early as lap five, and questioned the Silver Arrows’ strategy when chasing the Dutchman’s Red Bull.

The two drivers each employed two-stop strategies but opted for different tyre compounds on the latter stint, with Hamilton switching onto mediums with 32 laps remaining while Verstappen swapped to hards on the following lap.

After his second pit-stop, Hamilton was left frustrated as traffic derailed his undercut attempt on Verstappen, leaving the Brit unable to deny his rival a home win.

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Despite taking the win, Red Bull advisor Marko was left frustrated by some of Hamilton’s running commentary.

“Hamilton tends to be a bit theatrical,” Marko told Sky Sports Germany. “We were also watching Mercedes’ tyres closely and saw that it became critical with [Valtteri] Bottas. 

“On the whole, it was fine.”

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There appeared to be plenty of animosity between the rival teams heading into the summer break after Verstappen crashed out of the British Grand Prix following a collision with Hamilton, who went on to win.

Marko was pleased with the tactical battle between his team and Mercedes, and even praised Hamilton for a competitive and fair race on Sunday.

“We thought that after the second stop we could use the Hard tyres without any problems,” Marko added. “Hamilton attacked strongly, which Max covered. 

“Then it was just about driving the race home. It was a hard fight from the first to the last lap. 

“I have to compliment not only the Dutch, but also Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. 

“The way they behaved – that’s how a race should be.”

Formula 1 completes its triple-header this weekend at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. 

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