Helmut Marko will not be addressing the controversy surrounding him in Singapore this weekend, after his recent comments about Sergio Perez caused uproar.
The Red Bull motorsport advisor implied in an interview with Red Bull-owned station Servus TV that the Mexican was not as focussed as Max Verstappen and former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel due to him being “South American”, for which he later apologised.
Perez received backing from Mexico City Grand Prix organisers on the matter, but Marko will look to draw a line underneath it when Formula 1 returns this weekend by not answering questions on the controversy.
Helmut Marko: ‘If there are questions, I won’t answer them’
Marko has spoken publicly about his misgivings surrounding Perez and his performances this season on several occasions, hinting that his seat for 2024 may still not be secure despite assertions from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner that he will remain alongside Verstappen next season.
After his comments were roundly criticised last week, Marko issued an apology for his “offensive remark”, and he has now said he will not be addressing the matter when Formula 1 heads to Singapore over this weekend.
“If there are questions about that, I won’t answer them. I will only talk about sporting matters,” Marko told German publication F1-Insider.
Red Bull head into the weekend looking to keep up their unbeaten run this season, which has extended to 14 races – with Verstappen having taken an all-time F1 record 10th win in a row at Monza last time out.
Both drivers believe the unique challenges of Marina Bay could present issues for them this weekedn, and Marko is no different.
“A lot can always happen there,” he said. “Verstappen has never won in Singapore. Last year there was a misunderstanding with him in qualifying. That meant the race was already over. Fortunately, Sergio then took the victory.
“Recently, turns 16 to 19 have been dropped. That makes the circuit faster and more unpredictable for us in the run-up.
“But I’m most worried about Ferrari. They were already very strong in Monza. One thing is certain: Once we’ve come through Singapore on a positive note, I’ll be able to sleep a little easier.”