Calls for David Croft and Ted Kravitz to be punished for spreading conspiracy theory

AlphaTauri have strongly denied any foul play at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Fans on social media have been debating whether or not they felt AlphaTauri were trying to help Red Bull at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen had been leading Charles Leclerc in Zandvoort, and the pair had made their first stop of the race from Softs to Mediums.

The two Mercedes drivers, Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, started the race on the Mediums, and were planning a one-stop onto Hards.

Their switch onto the white-walled rubber put the two leaders back in front, but Verstappen and Leclerc still had an additional stop to make, so the finish was set to be a tremendously exciting one.

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Things got a little more interesting though when Yuki Tsunoda stopped by the side of the track after a pit stop, and reported that one of his wheels had not been fitted properly.

After his engineers had gone over the telemetry though, they could not see anything wrong with any of the four tyres, so they told him to slowly make his way back round to the pits.

In the meantime, Leclerc had stopped for Ferrari, putting him back behind the Mercedes cars, while Verstappen stayed out.

When Tsunoda returned to the pits, the mechanics spent half a minute refastening his safety harness, as he had started to undo it while he was stationary.

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The Faenza-based squad sent him back out again, only to find that he did indeed have a terminal issue; it was just not the problem the Japanese driver thought it was.

He therefore stopped again soon after he had re-joined, and this caused a Virtual Safety Car, giving Verstappen, Hamilton and Russell a free stop.

Leclerc lost out as a result, while neither Mercedes were able to take advantage of Verstappen’s second stop of the race.

Since AlphaTauri are Red Bull’s junior team, the theory was floated out that they had been told to disrupt the race, and help Verstappen win.

While some fans are adamant that there was foul play by the Italian team, others rubbish those suggestions, affirming that it was a coincidence that Tsunoda’s retirement caused the VSC.

AlphaTauri themselves took to social media to deny any wrongdoing, and they condemned the abuse being sent to Red Bull strategist Hannah Schmitz, who some fans on Twitter believe orchestrated an elaborate plan to win Verstappen the race.

“It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the language and comments directed at our team and towards Red Bull Racing’s head of strategy, Hannah Schmitz,” read a statement.

“Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards both Hannah and us.

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“We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship.

“Yuki had a failure that the team didn’t immediately detect which caused him to stop on track.

“To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect.”