Johnny Herbert has hit out at Helmut Marko’s suggestion that maybe Lewis Hamilton ought to have retired on the finish of final 12 months.
Marko made that declare with a chuckle after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix through which the seven-time former World Champion was lapped by the person who took his crown in such controversial circumstances in 2021, Max Verstappen.
Whereas Verstappen went on to win the race at Imola to make it two victories and two retirements brought on by Pink Bull breakdowns within the first 4 grands prix of this season, Hamilton got here residence thirteenth.
Mercedes have struggled to grasp the brand new Components 1 rules with ground-effect vehicles designed from scratch, with their W13 being one of many worst examples of the ‘porpoising’ that has been palpable proper from the beginning of testing.
Consequently, Hamilton is barely seventh within the Drivers’ standings and has written off his personal possibilities of securing a record-breaking eighth particular person title this season.
However as for whether or not he ought to have known as it a day after the heartbreak of Abu Dhabi in December 2021, three-time F1 race winner Herbert has solely contempt for Marko’s comment – and in addition tarred Pink Bull, for whom the Austrian is an advisor, with the identical brush.
“What an affordable shot – typical Helmut Marko and Pink Bull, to be trustworthy,” stated Herbert when requested in regards to the touch upon Sky Sports activities.
“After all the things that occurred final 12 months – what a battle there was between Max and Lewis, and naturally Pink Bull and Mercedes…it went right down to the wire, the race on the finish of the 12 months was fully and completely fallacious, however the man who dominated that final a part of the 12 months was Lewis Hamilton.
“So it simply exhibits he was on fireplace on the finish of final 12 months. Would they (Pink Bull) need him of their automotive? Sure, they might, however they know he’s a giant risk to them as soon as Mercedes get all the things collectively and begin battling for these race wins once more.”
At current, victories look a long way away for Mercedes, however Herbert thinks they could possibly be again within the combine in the direction of the closing phases of the marketing campaign as Hamilton goals to take care of his report of getting received at the very least as soon as throughout each season of an F1 profession that started in 2007.
“I feel there’s a likelihood, however it is going to be within the latter a part of the season if actually that likelihood goes to be there for them,” stated the 57-year-old, who received for Benetton and Stewart and drove for 5 different F1 groups.
“I feel they’ll work very exhausting, and Lewis particularly, to maintain that report going.”