Ex-Formula 1 drivers Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok have been left surprised by Red Bull’s reaction to advisor Dr Helmut Marko’s xenophobic comments, which were directed at Sergio Perez.
Marko’s recent comments have dominated the headlines ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, after he gave his view on why Perez lacks focus.
The 80-year-old put Perez’s apparent lack of focus down to him being “South American”, a comment which is both xenophobic and factually incorrect.
Perez is Mexican which is part of North America, quite clearly not South America.
Marko has apologised for his comments and has supposedly spoken to Perez in private, with the 33-year-old having accepted his apology.
Despite this, Lewis Hamilton has slammed what was said as “totally unacceptable”, whilst Brundle and Chandhok have been left confused at why Red Bull haven’t released a statement themselves.
Brundle has insisted that Marko’s comment is “completely unacceptable”, let alone the fact it was directed at his own driver.
“First of all, why would you be derogatory about one of your own drivers in a team that costs hundreds of millions a year to run?” Brundle asked on Sky Sports F1.
“It seems a little bit odd to say the least. It’s completely unacceptable to broad-brush in a negative way people, continents, regions, countries in that way.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained after Free Practice 1 that the Milton Keynes-based team haven’t released a statement on the matter because Marko isn’t an employee of the side.
Horner has stressed that Marko is an employee of the energy drink company itself, rather than the F1 team.
Nevertheless, Chandhok is unsure why Red Bull and even F1 themselves having released a statement, given that the comments were “clearly offensive”.
“It’s a little bit confusing,” Chandhok added.
“As Lewis has suggested. when you have senior figures in a team that are clearly offensive, it’s quite surprising not to hear anything from the team itself or F1.
“It sounds like he’s had a one-to-one conversation with Helmut but he’s in a slightly different position because he’s employed by Helmut.
“Ultimately, as a sport we have to take a stand and there have been various moments in the last few years where the sport has come together and collectively taken a stand together.”