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Helmut Marko defends Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton move

Dr Helmut Marko hits back at those critical of Max Verstappen's driving in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at those critical of Max Verstappen's driving in the Japanese Grand Prix.

F1 teen sensation Verstappen's aggressive style has often been condemned in 2016, but Mercedes initially lodged an official protest against his defence of Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of Sunday's Suzuka race.

Hamilton claimed that the 19-year-old had illegally moved in the braking zone, but Marko is quoted by newspaper Osterreich as retorting: "Whoever cannot get past with a Mercedes engine and DRS should calm down.

"At 19 years old, Max is already able to hold off a triple world champion. And on tyres that were five laps older."

Verstappen clearly agrees with his Red Bull boss, insisting that even though Hamilton is fighting for the world title he "will not just open the door and say 'Come past'".

"Of course I saw him move, so I closed the door. I think he was far enough back to see what I was doing," said the Dutchman.

Marko also told Swiss newspaper Blick: "With two laps to go, Max is not going to put on the turn signal."

Although the FIA did not penalise Verstappen, it is believed that Charlie Whiting did seek out the 19-year-old for private talks.

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Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing puts his helmet on in the garage during previews to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2016
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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