Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has accused "poor" Lewis Hamilton of 'putting on a show' with regard to the injuries sustained from his collision with Max Verstappen in the Italian Grand Prix.
The seven-time F1 champion complained of a "sore neck" and suggested he might have to visit a specialist after being hit on the helmet by Verstappen's Red Bull that had been launched into the air by his contact with a sausage kerb.
Footage via 360-degree cameras mounted on the nose of the cars of Hamilton and Verstappen clearly show the Briton take a shocking impact, with the halo bearing the brunt and saving his life.
The crash was sparked by a perfect storm of events, initiated by "human error" with Verstappen's 11.1s stop followed a few laps later by Hamilton's 4.4s tyre change, leading to the latter pulling out of the pit lane alongside his F1 title rival.
Speaking to Austria's oe24 about what unfolded and the aftermath which resulted in Verstappen being handed a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia, Marko said: "I was most annoyed about our botched pit stop.
"That's the only reason Hamilton got into Verstappen's zone. It was a normal racing accident, and all the stories surrounding it have been pulled out of thin air by Mercedes.
"Verstappen had already got out [of his car] when Hamilton tried to get out of the gravel with the reverse gear. The medical car saw this and drove on.
"And then a show is put on that poor Hamilton is suddenly injured, etc."
Marko has at least suggested a change of tune with his own thoughts regarding the halo protecting Hamilton.
He added: "Even if I was sceptical at first, I have to admit, just like in the fire accident [with Romain Grosjean], the halo was decisive in ensuring that things turned out so well."
Marko, though, has responded vehemently to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff's suggestion of a "tactical foul" from Verstappen.
"What nonsense!" retorted Marko who responded with a jibe of his own, adding: "Mercedes was too slow for that."
Further countering Wolff's claim that Mercedes has finished adding updates to its car for this year, he countered: "I still don't believe a word you say."
As for the title race, with Verstappen holding a five-point lead going into the remaining eight races, Marko said: "The five points we are ahead do not mean anything. It will be exciting until the last race."