‘We are the moral winners’: Marko shrugs off Mercedes’ Abu Dhabi GP appeals

Helmut Marko said that Mercedes' actions after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are "not worthy of a title race"

Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has hit out at Mercedes after their double-protest following the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2021 F1 season.

Max Verstappen was crowned Drivers’ Champion following a last-lap overtake on Sir Lewis Hamilton, but the end of the race was laced with confusion after Michael Masi opted to allow the lapped cars in between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves.

Mercedes appealed Verstappen’s Safety Car restart, as well as the stewarding decisions that led him and seven-time World Champion Hamilton to be engrossed in a last-lap battle for the win.

Marko said Mercedes’ post-race actions resembled those of “sore losers” and he insisted that Red Bull and Verstappen are the “moral winners.”

“What happened is unworthy of a world title race,” said Marko, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.

“It says a lot about their mentality. I think they are sore losers.

“That’s their attitude, it’s been like that all season. We don’t care, we are the moral winners – whether it comes left or right.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, was quick to praise the contributions to a great title race by Mercedes and Hamilton.

“They’ve [Mercedes] been great competitors this year and Lewis has been a phenomenal driver,” he said.

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“It’s had its moments, it’s been tense, it’s been tough, but we’re just delighted with the outcome and we’re very proud of Max, who’s been phenomenal this year.”

READ: Horner brands Mercedes appeal ‘a little bit desperate’

Horner, however, joined Marko in being critical of Mercedes for lodging an appeal.

The Briton said that the appeal “obviously felt a little bit desperate,” adding: “We didn’t want it to finish in front of the stewards.”

Verstappen and Hamilton entered the final round of the season level on points, with the Dutchman leading the Championship by virtue of having won one more race, meaning that a race win guaranteed success for either of them.

Mercedes have already lodged their intention to appeal the race result, and the case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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