Helmut Marko
Helmut Marko accused Mercedes of fixing the outcome of the Brazilian Grand Prix. In this picture, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Marko looks on in the garage during practice for the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, Oct. 19, 2018. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Red Bull Racing adviser Dr. Helmut Marko has leveled serious allegations against Mercedes after Esteban Ocon collided into Max Verstappen costing him victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Austrian team are still smarting over their loss at the Interlagos Circuit and are not willing to accept that it was just a racing incident. Verstappen had put in one of his hallmark drives to make his way from fifth on the grid at the start and into the lead with 27 laps remaining.

All the pit stops were done and the Dutch racer was in the lead ahead of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull driver looked comfortable and was not under immediate threat from the Mercedes car, but an over-enthusiastic Ocon ensured all did not end well for Verstappen.

The Force India driver, who has just come out of the pits on a fresh set of super-soft tires was keen to utilize his speed advantage on the straights. Verstappen was more than a lap ahead when Ocon – a Mercedes junior driver – decided to unlap himself, which he is legally allowed to do.

The Frenchman made the move going into Turn 1, but did not have the pace to get alongside and get ahead, and Verstappen continued with his racing line as they entered the Senna Esses. Ocon, however, refused to give in and tried to take the inside line into Turn 2 and since there was not enough room for two cars, they made contact and both the cars ended up spinning on opposite sides of the track.

Verstappen suffered major floor damage on his car, but more importantly he lost his well-deserved lead to Hamilton, who went on to win the race despite a late charge from the Dutchman. The Red Bull driver was involved in an altercation with Ocon immediately after the race and was penalized with two days of community service from the FIA.

Marko seemed to be equally incensed after the incident and accused Mercedes of fixing the result as Ocon is part of their junior program and is expected to take the Mercedes seat alongside Hamilton in 2020. He believes the 10-second stop-and-go penalty was not sufficient and that it should have resulted in a race ban for the Frenchman.

“A Mercedes driver, who is promised a seat for 2020, that crashes into the leading car – unbelievable,” Marko said after the race in Brazil, as quoted on Planet F1.

“They should have told him ‘this is the leader, he has new tyres, don’t attack him’,” the Austrian added. “And then this idiot gets a ten-second penalty. I would have expected a race ban.”

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff, however, was not keen on getting involved in the spat and indulge in talks that could start a potential controversy. He simply ignored the question and made it clear that the team was focused on celebrating being crowned the Constructors’ champions for the fifth consecutive season.

“This is how Dr Marko sees the world and I want to leave it with that,” Wolff said. “I don’t want to go on this level. We have a fifth world championship to celebrate today.”