'It would be better if Massa retires' - Marko
8 October 2017 – Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has suggested that it would be "better" if Felipe Massa retires, after his actions on the final lap of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Race leader Lewis Hamilton came under pressure from Red Bull's Max Verstappen during the closing stages, as the pair came up to lap Massa and Fernando Alonso, who were battling over 10th.
Alonso was handed a reprimanded after it was deemed that he had ignored blue flags for almost a lap – in turn aiding Verstappen to draw closer to Hamilton.
Verstappen, though, was compromised on the final lap, for while Hamilton was able to lap Massa along the pit straight, Verstappen could not get through until the Dunlop curve.
Hamilton ultimately came home ahead to triumph, with Verstappen second, a situation which led to an irascible response from Marko.
"Max had the pace to try to attack Hamilton," Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
"When first place in a Grand Prix is at stake, it can't be the case that you move [over] after that many corners. It would be better if he [Massa] retires.
"Otherwise it [the finish] could have been exciting."
Verstappen, though, did not feel the incident impacted on his chances of winning the race.
"I think I wouldn't have passed Lewis anyway because it's really hard once he's in free air," he said.
"It was more like when Lewis was getting held up [by Alonso], I could close up and then maybe you can do something, but once he got past, even when I got held up, it's done."