FIA reveal Helmut Marko punishment following Sergio Perez controversy

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko. Canada June 2023.

Helmut Marko walks through the paddock.

The FIA has issued a written warning to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, following his controversial comments regarding Sergio Perez.

Marko made headlines for all the wrong reasons ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, when he made comments via Red Bull-owned ServusTV which linked Perez’s inconsistency compared to team-mate Max Verstappen to his ethnicity.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner confirmed that Formula 1 and the FIA had been in touch about Marko’s comments, for which he publicly apologised and to Perez, and now the FIA has taken action.

Helmut Marko reprimanded for his Sergio Perez comments

In a statement, the governing body wrote: “We can confirm that Helmut Marko has received a written warning and been reminded of his responsibilities as a public figure in motor sport in line with the FIA Code of Ethics.”

Mercedes racer and Verstappen’s former title rival Lewis Hamilton had been highly critical of Marko pre-Singapore Grand Prix regarding his Perez remarks, though also said he was “not surprised” by the incident.

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“It’s totally unacceptable what he said,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“Whilst we say there’s no room for any type of discrimination within this sport, which there should be no room for, to have leaders, people in his position, making comments like this, is not good for us moving forward.

“So I think it just highlights for us the work that still needs to be done. There are a lot of people in the background that really are trying to combat these sorts of things, but it’s hard to manoeuvre when you have people that are at the top, if there are people in the top that have those sort of mindsets that just stop us from progressing.

“Yeah, I’m not surprised to be honest.

“I think it’s not just something that you apologise for and it’s all okay.”

It was also a tough day for Red Bull on-track on Friday in Singapore, Perez and Verstappen ending Friday practice seven-tenths down on the pace-setting Ferrari driven by Carlos Sainz.

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