Sergio Perez is inarguably one of the most talented Formula 1 drivers on the grid, having raced with the elites including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Fernando Alonso. Despite spending the majority of his career in a mid-field team, the Mexican managed to secure numerous podium finishes for his team, subsequently gaining his hard-earned seat at the title-contending Red Bull outfit.
While Perez was quite comfortable surrounded by the abundant support of Christian Horner and Helmut Marko during the initial stages, things started taking a turn for the worse as the 33-year-old stepped further into the journey with the Milton Keynes outfit. Then arrived the 2023 season, which, despite the glorious start, shaped up to be one of the most heartbreaking years for the six-time Grand Prix winner.
Victories and hope of challenging the title faded away almost abruptly, leaving Perez with almost nothing to look forward to. His performances began to tumble, and results weren’t as promising anymore, which somehow triggered a bitter stand-off between the Mexican and the rest of the team. Recently, Perez revealed that the team had stopped developing the car towards his comfort and rather focused on building it around Verstappen’s.
Soon after, Verstappen rubbished the claims. But, it was indeed Helmut Marko who made it to the headlines after making racial statements against his own driver. While the Austrian was indeed lauding Perez’s efforts at Monza, a mere sentence managed to blow out of proportion.
Helmut Marko facing the heat of the fans after latest Sergio Perez comment
During an interview with Servus TV, Marko had a rather bizarre and offensive theory behind Perez’s recent struggles at Red Bull. The Austrian went on to allege that the struggles were indeed because of his nationality. “He is South American and [that’s why his] head is not as focused as Max’s or Sebastian’s,” he reportedly said to the media house.
Unsurprisingly, F1 fans immediately swarmed on X to slam Red Bull’s best talent hunter. One fan wrote, “As a Latina, I feel completely offended and disgusted by what Helmut Marko said.” Take a look at more such reactions from the fandom.
“lets remember that perez is south american (???) and thats why his head is not so focused”
as a latina i feel completely offended and disgusted by what helmut marko said – this does not surprise me because he is part of the same team that trivializes racism .
— ★ (@dearlews) September 6, 2023
waiting for the day when F1 will do something about helmut marko pic.twitter.com/XMwuzNoIiZ
— e 🐧 (@edasdias) September 6, 2023
helmut marko when he realises some of the best and biggest f1 drivers are south american (senna,fangio, fittipaldi) pic.twitter.com/S1gCFK5HDB
— can (@rosbergcore) September 6, 2023
Can Helmut Marko go one week without saying something discriminating please?
“he is South American and [that’s why his] head is not as focused as Max’s or Sebastian’s” https://t.co/KbKCfZHk5T
— Stefanie (@fastpitstop) September 6, 2023
Overall, a disheartening statement indeed, and by the looks of it, Red Bull doesn’t seem too keen on holding onto the Mexican star beyond the end of this season. Hence, with Liam Lawson on standby, could the Milton Keynes outfit seek a quick resolution to the ever-growing confusion? But, more importantly, could Marko find himself in trouble yet again amidst his recent statements? Only time will tell.