Helmut Marko has again stirred the pot as he blamed Mexican fans, in other words Sergio Perez fans, for their unsporting boos toward Max Verstappen on the Austin podium.
Winning the United States Grand Prix to go along with his lights to flag Sprint success, Verstappen was booed by some people in the crowd as he stepped onto the podium.
There was more jeering as he accepted the winner’s trophy from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who also appeared to be a target of the hostile United States GP crowd.
Helmut Marko blames Mexican fans for boos
When Max Verstappen was asked if it bothered him, he replied: “No, in the end, I’m the one that goes home with the trophy, fine by me!”
Pressed to what if it was ’10x worse’ in Mexico, he simply said: “Then I’ll still go home with the trophy! So that’s totally fine!”
And it could be worse in Mexico if Marko is right as the Red Bull motorsport advisor, who has previously apologised for referring to Perez’s ethnicity as a reason for his struggles, blamed Mexican fans for the booing Verstappen was subjected to.
“We are in contact with a lot of Mexicans,” he told Sky Germany. “The majority are very friendly and fair, but there are always some, let’s say enthusiastic people, who don’t maintain the fair sporting standard.
“But we have no concerns and are happy to go to Mexico.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is not fazed by the reception Verstappen may receive from the partisan crowd in Mexico City.
As Perez’s biggest rival and the one standing between him and a World title, Horner concedes his Dutch driver won’t have the “warmest” welcome but he doesn’t believe it will bother him.
“I don’t think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico,” Horner joked. “That’s water off a duck’s back. One year you are the villain and the next you are the hero.”
He’s not worried that Marko’s comments may have inflamed the situation.
“I am not worried about that,” said the Briton. “The team is fully behind Checo and both of our drivers.
“We love racing in Mexico, we love the Mexican fans, the passion – that stadium is unique. So we are really looking forward to it.”