Helmut Marko fires shot at Lewis Hamilton and George Russell with Lando Norris comment

Helmut Marko claims Lando Norris is the only driver he can see being a potential threat to Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc for the Formula One world championship this season. The Red Bull advisor has completely disregarded Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari’s Leclerc is currently at the top of the driver standings, four races into the season. He and Verstappen have each won two races, with the Red Bull driver crashing out of the two he was not victorious in.

Mercedes have had a season to forget so far but Russell still finds himself fourth in the standings. He is 14 points clear of McLaren driver Norris.

Hamilton is only seven points behind Norris but in a clear snub to the Mercedes duo, Marko says the McLaren star is the only one capable of catching the two leaders. However, he admits Norris’ car will need to improve for that to happen.

Marko told auto-motor-und-sport.de: “The only driver I see coming into this battle in terms of talent is Norris. But he doesn’t have the best material at the moment.”

Marko’s comments come days after he said Hamilton should have retired following the last race of the 2021 season. Following the Imola Grand Prix, he said: “He was lapped by us so maybe he should have stopped last year, he is thinking maybe.”

However, former F1 driver and Sky Sports pundit Johnny Herbert was not impressed with Marko’s comments, especially with the way last season ended. Herbet said: “What a cheap shot.

“Typical Helmut Marko and Red Bull to be honest. After everything that happened last year and 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 as we know was completely and utterly wrong. But it was the man who dominated the last part of the year, that was Lewis Hamilton.

“It shows that he was on fire at the end of last year. Would they want him in their car? Yes they would.

“But they know he’s a big threat for them once Mercedes get everything together and they start battling for those race wins again.” Hamilton did admit after the race in Italy last week that his hopes of winning an eighth title this season are over.

“I’m out of the championship, for sure,” Hamilton said. “There’s no question about that, but I’ll still keep working as hard as I can and try to pull it back together somehow.”

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