Marko apologises after controversial comments about Perez – Austria’s Helmut Marko has sent social networking sites into a frenzy in recent hours after making comments described as “xenophobic” by some internet users when referring to the performance of Mexico’s Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen’s current team-mate at Red Bull.
Helmut Marko, motorsport advisor at Red Bull, was interviewed on Servus TV’s Hangar 7 programme about the performance of Sergio Perez, who is 145 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen after the 14th round of the season.
History of public racial comments about Perez
Back in April this year, a similar incident occurred when again Dr Helmut Marko made a comment about Perez inability to match Verstappen, again citing his heritage as the reason.
Marko said quite unequivocally in Germany’s “Sport Bild” that: “viewed over the whole season with 23 races, Max is the more consistent driver. Checo has his highlights, but unfortunately he also has some bad weekends…” and that “if he wants to be a serious title contender, he has to become more consistent,”
“That’s just Mexican temperament…”
For many, in particular of Mexican heritage, could find Marko’s comments somewhat of a ‘slur’. Dismissive of Perez’s attempts to be equal of Max, by casually claiming Perez can’t match his team mate due to his ‘Mexican temperament’.
Marko again slips up, but ‘apologises’
Back to the recent Servus TV interview, Marko began by praising Sergio Perez, who finished the Italian Grand Prix in second place behind Max Verstappen, before pointing out the Mexican’s weakness this season compared to his team-mate.
“We know that he [Perez] has problems in qualifying. He has fluctuations in his form, he’s South American and so he’s not as focused in his head as Max [Verstappen] or Sebastian [Vettel],” said Marko.
The comments made by Helmut Marko – described by some as xenophobic – triggered the anger of some internet users on social networks and the main person concerned had to react very quickly by publicly apologising.
“I didn’t mean it at all. I wanted to say that a Mexican has a different mentality to that of a German or a Dutch person”, explained Helmut Marko to Austrian media outlet OE24, while offering his “sincere apologies”.