Mercedes says even Red Bull knew Max Verstappen was at fault

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Helmut Marko would “try and blame Lewis at any opportunity”, but they didn’t do it after the Italian Grand Prix.

After the crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin said the team was certain Lewis did nothing wrong. He added he believes Red Bull thought so too.

“We obviously felt strongly that Lewis had done absolutely nothing wrong, and that Max was the one predominantly to blame,” Shovlin said.

“I think if you look at the fact that even Helmut and Christian weren’t trying to blame Lewis, it sort of feels like they know that Max was in the wrong, because they will try and blame Lewis at any opportunity.”

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Shovlin also believes the three-place grid penalty, that Verstappen will have to serve at the Russian Grand Prix, will not affect him as much as the crash affected Lewis.

“Ultimately, I think it cost Lewis a win and certainly a second place, so you’ll always feel that three places is relatively easy to overcome if you’ve got a competitive car.

“But that’s all in the past. Now we need to make sure we put a good weekend together in Russia. It’s a place where the car should be competitive, but we’ve had pretty messy races for quite a long time now.

“Really, the team needs to not get distracted and just focus on delivering the kind of performance that we know we can, and the performance that we need to win these championships,” concluded the Briton.

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