Red Bull chief issues Lewis Hamilton retirement jibe after Verstappen laps rival

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko issued a retirement jibe to Lewis Hamilton, after the Mercedes driver encountered further woes at Imola.

A poor weekend for the seven-time world champion culminated in a frustrating afternoon at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Hamilton narrowly avoided a collision in the pit lane with Esteban Ocon and could only finish 13th – while teammate George Russell came fourth.

To add further salt to the wounds, Hamilton suffered the embarrassment of being lapped by Max Verstappen – the man who he went toe-to-toe with for the title last season and the man he now cannot even get close to keeping pace with.

Verstappen played down the lapping, which happened on lap 40, stating: "They've been slow all year so for me it's not really anything exciting, it just happens."

Red Bull chief Marko, however, certainly enjoyed what he witnessed and couldn't help but to take the opportunity to make a swipe at Hamilton: "I mean, he was lapped by us. Maybe he is thinking he should have stopped last year!"

Following his defeat to Verstappen in the title battle, questions were raised as to whether Hamilton would return to the grid for another attempt at securing what would be a record-breaking eighth world championship title.

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Hamilton eventually made his position clear, confirming his return, and vowed to be 'more aggressive' throughout the course of the 2022 campaign as he looked to snatch back the title he lost last term.

However, his chances of securing an eighth title are looking dead in the water with just four races completed and Hamilton conceded even before his woes at Imola that he was 'obviously' not competing for this season's championship.

Having come in outside the points for the first time this season at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and finished behind teammate Russell for a third race in a row, the issues he faces at Mercedes have become even clearer.

Hamilton sits seventh in the Driver's Championship, already finding himself 58 points behind early leader Charles Leclerc, while Mercedes sit third in the Constructor's Championship.

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