Helmut Marko never tires of attacking Checo Perez, and now he’s done so while making some controversial statements which have been labeled as discriminatory by some.
Red Bull‘s technical advisor was recently discussing Perez‘s second place finish in Italy, after getting past the two Ferraris, however he referred to the driver’s cultural roots.
“The Italian GP was surely one of Checo Perez‘s best weekends and we know about his problems in qualifying, which is where he has his doubts,” Marko said, in an interview for Sport & Talk of Servus TV.
“Let’s remember that he is South American and so his head is not as focused as Max Verstappen or as Sebastian Vettel was, but racing is his forte and he had a very good race.
“Overtaking three drivers, in George Russell and the Ferrari drivers, was not easy, as we knew they were faster on the straights.
“In the race, Perez did everything right and now we have circuits like Singapore, where he has already won and which suit him better.”
Some praise for Checo Perez
Marko did, however, take time to applaud Checo as he explained that the Red Bull seat is one of the most sought-after on the F1 grid.
“The seat at Red Bull is one of the most sought-after, but on the other hand you also have Max Verstappen as an opponent, so you need personality and also a very strong mentality,” Marko said.
“Perez has done the best of all the drivers in recent years and has also won races.”
Marko is excited about what Verstappen and Perez can achieve in the remainder of the 2023 Formula 1 season given they’ve won every race so far.
“We are optimistic and, despite our success, we have curiously never achieved 1-2 in the drivers’ world championship, so we are very excited to achieve this,” Marko added.
Not the first time Marko has referred to Perez as “South American”
You only have to go back to August 2022 when the Red Bull advisor was in the eye of the storm over comments he made about Perez.
That’s the first time he called him “South American”, even though Mexico belongs to North America.
“As a South American, he generally has a lot of ups and downs,” Marko pointed out in an interview then for Sky Germany.
“Max is not afraid, and Perez is very scared, although it isn’t different from how he lives in Mexico City,” he said, in reference to the violence in the country’s capital.
It should be noted that, on that occasion, fans hit back at Marko‘s discriminatory comments and asked Formula 1 to open an investigation into the matter.