Helmut Marko on thin ice after receiving ‘written warning’

Helmut Marko has been "reminded of his responsibilities" by the FIA following his xenophobic comment.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko is on incredibly thin ice, after the Austrian received a “written warning” from the FIA following his xenophobic comment directed at Sergio Perez.

Ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Marko discussed Perez’s lack of focus, something the 80-year-old blamed on the Mexican’s nationality.

Marko stated that Perez lacks focus because he’s “South American”, something which is both xenophobic and factually incorrect.

Perez was born in Mexico which is part of North America; however, his blatant xenophobia completely overshadows his geographical error.

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“We know that he has problems in qualifying, he has fluctuations in form. He is South American [sic] and he is just not as completely focused in his head as Max [Verstappen] is or as Sebastian [Vettel],” Marko told Red Bull’s Servus TV channel.

Marko has since apologised for his comments both in public and to Perez privately, with the 33-year-old having accepted the Austrian’s apology.

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t having any of it and slammed the advisor’s comments as “totally unacceptable”.

It came as a surprise as many ahead of this weekend that neither F1, the FIA or Red Bull had released a statement, this changed though on Friday.

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Marko received a warning from the governing body and “reminded of his responsibilities” as someone in his senior position.

“We can confirm that Helmut Marko has received a written warning and been reminded of his responsibilities as a public figure in motorsport in line with the FIA Code of Ethics,” the FIA stated, as reported by Motorsport.com.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also discussed Marko’s comments on Friday following Free Practice 1 at the Marina Bay Circuit, where he revealed why the Milton Keynes-based team hadn’t released a statement.

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Horner revealed that no statement was made as Marko isn’t a direct employee of the F1 outfit, although even the Red Bull boss insisted that the comments “weren’t right”.

“Firstly those comments were, they weren’t right. Helmut quickly recognised that and apologised for that both publicly and directly to Sergio,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“He spoke directly to Sergio about it and I think you’re always learning in life, even at 80 years of age, and inevitably lessons have been learned.”