Mexico City GP throw support behind Sergio Perez after Helmut Marko comments

Sam Cooper
Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez

Helmut Marko has often criticised Sergio Perez in 2023.

The Mexico City Grand Prix organisers have defended Sergio Perez after Helmut Marko made another xenophobic slur against him.

The Red Bull senior advisor caused controversy this week when he suggested Perez’s fluctuating form this season was due to him being “South American.”

Not only were the comments deemed xenophobic, they were also incorrect with Mexico being part of North America, though Marko has since apologised.

Mexico GP stands behind Sergio Perez after Helmut Marko comment

Speaking to the Red Bull owned ServusTV, Marko said that Perez’s “South American” heritage made him “less focused” than Europeans Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

The comments brought widespread condemnation and the Mexico City Grand Prix organisers have become the latest to support Perez.

“At the Mexico GP we express our support to the Mexican driver, Sergio “Checo” Perez,” the organisers said on social media.

“Inappropriate comments have no place in any environment, including sport.

“It is important that action is taken to prevent it and that apologies are made where necessary. We invite everyone to build a more respectful and united Formula 1 community, encouraging healthy competition both on and off the track.”

Marko apologised for his remarks shortly after having made them.

“Concerning my remark about Sergio Perez, ServusTV Sport and Talk, Monday September 4: I would like to apologise for my offensive remark,” a statement read.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not believe that we can generalise about the people from any country, any race, any ethnicity. I was trying to make a point that Checo has fluctuated in his performance this year, but it was wrong to attribute this to his cultural heritage.”

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It is not the first time Marko has used derogatory remarks against Red Bull’s own driver. Following the missile strike during the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Marko insinuated that Perez should be used to it because Mexico City is also dangerous.

Later in the year when Perez was beaten off the line following a safety car restart by George Russell, Marko said Perez may have been drinking tequila the night before.

It is not just against Perez who Marko has made these kinds of remarks either, having criticised Yuki Tsunoda last year for the “very emotional” way the AlphaTauri driver speaks in the car, which “for a Japanese, it’s more of an exception.”

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