Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently commented on Lewis Hamilton's poor performance at Imola last weekend, suggesting that the Briton should have retired at the end of the 2021 season after losing the world championship title to Max Verstappen.
Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert described these comments as a "cheap shot," emphasizing that it was the seven-time world champion who in fact "dominated" the last leg of the 2021 F1 season.
Calling out Marko's comments, as reported by PlanetF1, Herbert said:
“What a cheap shot – typical Helmut Marko and Red Bull, to be honest. After everything that happened last year – what a battle there was between Max and Lewis, and of course Red Bull and Mercedes…it went down to the wire, the race at the end of the year was completely and utterly wrong, but the man who dominated that last part of the year was Lewis Hamilton."
“So it just shows he was on fire at the end of last year. Would they (Red Bull) want him in their car? Yes, they would, but they know he’s a big threat to them once Mercedes get everything together and start battling for those race wins again.”
Lewis Hamilton's former team-mate "happier" at new team
After a long five-year stint with the Silver Arrows, Valtteri Bottas left the team to join Alfa Romeo. The driver revealed that he is happier with the role he is playing in the team, now that he no longer has a team-mate as dominant as Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking about the team dynamics at Alfa Romeo as compared to that at Mercedes, Bottas told The Race:
"I just feel a bit happier in life overall. I really feel a big part of the team. And it’s been really nice to have proper authority on things. If I ask for something, it happens - and everyone really listens."
“I’m not just a driver, but also an important team member. It was always quite difficult in the past to really step up. And I think Lewis also in a team is quite a dominant person in a way. It was pretty clear that I couldn’t have the same role there as what I have here.”
Lewis Hamilton currently stands four points ahead of his former team-mate in the drivers' standings.