Johnny Herbert blasts Helmut Marko for taking “cheap shot” at Hamilton

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Johnny Herbert blasts Dr Helmut Marko for suggesting that Lewis Hamilton might be thinking he “should have stopped last year”, and adds Red Bull knows Lewis is “a big, big threat for them”.

After Lewis Hamilton finished the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in P13, Red Bull’s advisor Dr Helmut Marko had suggested Lewis might be thinking he “should have stopped last year”.

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert blasts Marko for his “cheap shot”.

“What a cheap shot! Typical Helmut Marko and Red Bull, to be honest,” Herbert told Sky Sports.

“After everything that happened last year… what a battle there was between Max [Verstappen] and Lewis, and of course Red Bull and Mercedes – it went down to the wire.

“The race at the end of the year, as we know, was completely and utterly wrong, but it was the man who dominated that last part of the year… that was Lewis Hamilton.

“Would [Red Bull] want him in their car? Yes, they would. They know he’s a big, big threat for them once Mercedes get everything together, and they start battling for those race wins again.”

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Some have suggested 2022 might be the first season in Lewis’ career where he will fail to win a single race. However, Herbert believes Mercedes will be able to challenge the top teams later in the year.

“I think there is a chance, but it will be in the latter part of the season if really that chance is going to be there for them. I think they will work very hard, and Lewis especially, to keep that record going.

“I think what Lewis has always been really good at doing is being a leader. I think that first kicked off when he joined McLaren with Fernando Alonso and how he was able to develop himself and mould himself within the team and that is exactly what he has been able to do at Mercedes.

“Motivation within the team, it is a massive and important thing for the driver to get the most out of the personnel, especially in the situation they find themselves in at the moment.

“So he will be working very, very hard with his engineers, with the designers, to try and work out exactly what is going wrong because I think they know they have fundamentally got a good car but until they can get the right set-up for the car, it is going to be a lot of hard work.

“But that is where he is going to be really inspiring within the team because that is something that he is still very, very driven to do – to get the best out of himself but out of the team at the same time.

“Even when you are winning you still have to keep that motivation going and the proof in the pudding was last year.

“It looked like it was going to be a runaway victory for Red Bull in the early and middle part of the season and it turned around and that just shows you how driven and how important he is for the team,” Herbert concluded.

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