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Marko jokes Hamilton should have retired last year

Red Bull motor racing advisor Helmut Marko joked that Lewis Hamilton should have retired at the end of last season.

Seven-time champion Hamilton has endured a nightmare start to 2022 and during Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix found himself lapped by Max Verstappen, who controversially beat him to last year’s championship on the final lap of the final race.

Hamilton finished a lowly 13th at Imola in what has to be considered one of the worst drives of his storied F1 career.

When asked by Sky Sports what he thinks is going through Hamilton’s head at the moment, Marko smiled and said: “I mean, he was lapped by us. Maybe he should have stopped last year, he is thinking! Maybe.”

After the race, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff apologised to Hamilton over the radio, admitting the car was “undriveable.”

The Mercedes has been suffering from the most extreme case of “porpoising” on the grid, the name given to the violent bouncing F1’s new cars experience while driving straight at high speed.

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell said the issue was so bad on Sunday he ended the race with chest and back pain.

Despite the car problems, Russell managed to finish fourth.

Wolff said Hamilton deserves better from the car.

“We are not good enough for a world champion, not worthy for a world champion,” Wolff said to Sky Sports after the race. “We just need to fix the car.

“Lewis deserves better from us. But we are a team, so we all need to do the upmost in order to provide him with a machine that is able to fight for the front positions.

“The guy is the best driver in the world and he is just not having the machine and the equipment underneath him to be able to execute.”

In Imola, Hamilton twice wrote off his chances of winning a record eighth championship this year, once after qualifying and again after Sunday’s grand prix.

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