Will Red Bull fire Helmut Marko after xenophobic Sergio Perez slur?

Dr Helmut Marko has sparked huge controversy and backlash online over comments he made about Sergio Perez.

Dr Helmut Marko has come under immense scrutiny following a xenophobic slur aimed at Sergio Perez, whilst appearing on Red Bull owned broadcaster Servus TV.

Marko has been highly critical of Perez recently and has even insisted that his place with the team isn’t a guarantee for 2024, despite the Mexican having a contract.

Perez is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2024, with team principal Christian Horner having insisted that his deal will be honoured.

Marko has said the complete opposite, and even admitted that in Formula 1 nothing is “certain”.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, his recent comments following the Italian Grand Prix have crossed the line, after Marko blamed Perez’s occasional lack of focus on him being “South American”, something which isn’t even correct.

Mexico is, of course, part of North America, not South America.

Regardless of Marko’s apparent lack of geographical knowledge, it is a blatant xenophobic slur aimed at his own driver.

The 80-year-old made the foul comment whilst discussing Perez’s performance at Monza, which he initially praised.

Article continues below

Marko stated that Perez’s performance was one of his “best weekends”, before stating that he loses focus compared to the likes of reigning World Champion Max Verstappen because of his nationality.

“The Italian GP was surely one of Checo Perez’s best weekends and we know about his problems in qualifying, which is where he has his doubts,” Marko said on Servus TV.

“Let’s remember that he is South American and so his head is not as focused as Max Verstappen or as Sebastian Vettel was, but racing is his forte and he had a very good race.

“Overtaking three drivers, in George Russell and the Ferrari drivers, was not easy, as we knew they were faster on the straights.

READ: Yuki Tsunoda says he wants to replace Sergio Perez

“In the race, Perez did everything right and now we have circuits like Singapore, where he has already won and which suit him better.”

It remains unclear if Red Bull will take action against the controversial Austrian.

Perez finished second at the ‘Temple of Speed’ to secure Red Bull their second 1-2 finish from the last three races, after a strong recovery from fifth on the grid.

The 33-year-old showed great patience to find a way past George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, before finishing just six seconds behind his team-mate.