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Helmut Marko defends his controversial comments on Checo

The Red Bull advisor has defended recent comments concerning Checo's performance

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Helmut Marko has defended his recent controversial comments concerning Perez’s performance and ethnic origins.

Helmut Marko is in hot water regarding his statements about Sergio Perez and his performance. He has since defended such comments. Image Credit:

Despite the incredible amount of backlash received by Helmut Marko regarding his comments on Sergio Perez, the Red Bull advisor has since decided to double down, defend his words, and add more to the mix.

The Original Comments

Marko’s original comments, the ones that sparked the backlash, discussed Checo’s recent performance in Italy. “[The Italian Grand Prix] was certainly one of his better weekends. And we know that he has problems in qualifying, he has performance fluctuations.”

Despite starting positively, Marko then appeared to infer that his recent streak of bad form before the Italian Grand Prix could be due to his Mexican heritage.

“He’s South American… and he’s just not as focused in his head as Max or Sebastian were, for example.”

From these comments, many have understood that Marko is inferring that he believes Perez’s Mexican heritage is what is causing his “performance fluctuations”. Not only did Marko infer this but he also used incorrect language as Mexico is a North American country.

The outrage that followed these words has not settled down and Marko has taken to releasing another statement. Instead of apologising, he went on to defend his statement and double down on his original comments.

New Developments

When asked by the Oe24 media outlet, Marko seemed surprised by the outrage and attempted to justify his comments.

The Austrian advisor stated, “It wasn’t meant that way”. This appears to be in response to those calling his comments discriminatory. However, his following comments make it seem that it was meant that way and have made the situation worse.

“I meant that a Mexican has a different mentality than a German or a Dutchman.”

Comparing Perez to his European Red Bull colleagues reinforces the idea that Marko perceives them as different. Marko follows by saying, “But who knows, maybe it’s controlled.”

What happens next?

The comments have still not been addressed [at the time of writing] and many on social media have demanded an apology and/ or the removal of Marko from Red Bull.

Some have compared this situation to the Juri Vips one. When Vips was found to be using racial slurs, he was immediately removed from the Red Bull programme and many seem to be demanding the same for Marko.

Although Perez’s future with Red Bull is uncertain at the moment, this whole incident may change it.

Feature Image Credit: Imago/Nordphoto (

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