Mexico GP organisers demand ‘respect’ after Sergio Perez controversy

Sergio Perez was recently the victim of xenophobic abuse by Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.

Organisers of this season’s Mexican Grand Prix have called for those involved in Formula 1 to be an “example for fans around the world” at this year’s event, amid recent xenophobic comments and incidents in grandstands.

The Mexican GP is set to take place on October 27-29 and is usually a well-attended event.

However, recent F1 races in Mexico have seen drivers booed from the grandstands, whilst racist comments have also been made.

It’s not just in the grandstands where racism has been an issue recently, with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko having made a xenophobic comment about Sergio Perez ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

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Whilst comparing Perez to reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, Marko insisted that the Mexican driver lacks focus because he’s “South American”, something which is both xenophobic and factually incorrect.

Mexico is found on the North America continent, not South America.

The organisers of the Mexican GP criticised Marko for his comments towards Perez, although the 80-year-old did go on to apologise both in public and to the driver privately.

In an attempt to eliminate racism and “verbal attacks” in F1 once and for all both in the grandstands and in the paddock, the Mexican GP is launching a campaign called ‘Racepect’, which targets to “eliminate acts of intolerance such as verbal attacks, racist comments and confrontations in the stands”.

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“We invite the attendees of the Mexico GP to be an example for fans around the world,” said public relations director Rodrigo Sanchez.

“Let’s build an environment based on tolerance, inclusion, diversity and, above all, respect during races.”

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Perez has received a lot of recent criticism from the media for his inconsistent performances, which have allowed Lewis Hamilton to close to within 33 points of the 33-year-old in the Drivers’ Championship.

Another bad weekend at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar in a few days will further increase Hamilton’s chances of beating Perez to second in the standings, something Red Bull likely won’t be too happy with.

Perez started the season phenomenally well and claimed two wins in the opening four races but has since made several driver errors and has struggled to compete with Verstappen.