Hamilton and Marko clear air over fake quotes

Date published: June 18 2020

Lewis HamiltonPA

Dr Helmut Marko has said he and Lewis Hamilton have cleared the air after the Mercedes driver reacted to fake quotes attributed to the Red Bull advisor.

Hamilton posted a lengthy response on his social media platforms to quotes he thought were said by Marko via German outlet RTL about him being distracted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, the quotes were completely fabricated by a spoof Twitter account and the website that ran them, Essentially Sports, issued an apology for using the quotes and for not verifying the source.

Hamilton quickly deleted the posts when he was made aware the quotes were not real and Marko has said the matter has been properly addressed between them.

“She [Red Bull’s press officer] asked me what I really said in the interview,” Marko told Motorsport.com.

“I didn’t even know what she was talking about. That’s when it all started. It completely caught me by surprise.

“But Christian Horner sent a message to Hamilton and he erased his posts.”

Marko and Hamilton have then since exchanged messages with Marko saying the matter has been dealt with in “good faith”.

Marko said he was unaware of just how quickly things can spread across social media but is thankful that not many other Formula 1 news sources did not run the story once it quickly became apparent that it was fake news.

He added: “I didn’t realise what damage something like this could do and how fast it spreads. You can take this as an example of how an overly hysterical view is not helpful in the bigger picture.

“Thank God most journalists research what is really going on. RTL told me that they were bombarded with requests for four hours. And when it was clear that this was fake news, hardly anyone wrote anything about it.”

Even though Marko did not say the words attributed to him, he found Hamilton’s reaction completely understandable.

“He is emotionally very involved,” Marko said.

“As a racing driver, he is not obliged to do research whether this is true or not. In that respect, his reaction is understandable to me.

“I am not a racist. We have employees in our team from I don’t know how many nations.

“This has always been the case in our junior program, too. And in my company I have employees from about 15 nationalities.”

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