Marko slammed for ‘totally inappropriate’ comment about Saudi missile strike and Perez

Free Practice Two (FP2) at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was delayed after a missile landed close to the street circuit.

Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has been slammed for making a “totally inappropriate comment” about Sergio Perez and today’s missile strike in Saudi Arabia.

Free Practice Two at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was delayed after a missile, fired by Houthi militants in Yemen, struck close to the street circuit.

Specifically, the North Jeddah Bulk Plant – which is operated by Saudi oil giant Aramco – was hit by the missile.

Footage of the strike is circulating on social media, and Houthi militants have taken responsibility for the attack, claiming they fired a “batch of winged missiles” at various targets in Saudi Arabia.

They also claimed that drones were used in the attack and have vowed to continue to attack Saudi Arabia.

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“[Our] armed forces will not hesitate to expand military operations until US-Saudi aggression stops and the siege is lifted,” a Houthi military spokesperson said on Friday.

Reacting to the attack, Dr Marko said: “Max is not scared, but Perez is very scared. But it’s not much different if you’re used to living in Mexico City.”

F1 fans were quick to tear into the Austrian for this controversial comment, with one branding his remarks “totally inappropriate.”

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Another called for Dr Marko to be put in a “nursing home”, while a third simply called him “stupid.”

However, some Spanish-speaking social media users defended the Red Bull advisor, suggesting that what he said was fair comment.

“What is different about Mexico from Yemen or countries with armed conflicts? With all due respect, a country where a convoy arrives at a wake, they take 17 people out and shoot them against a wall… Well, it’s not very different from Yemen or Saudi Arabia,” one remarked.

Another said that Dr Marko’s comment was nothing but the truth:

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Mexico has long been plagued by violence by drug cartels, and civilians are often caught in the crossfire and sometimes even deliberately targeted.

Formula 1 has said it is not planning to cancel the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite today’s attack on Jeddah and the threat of further attacks by Houthi militants.