Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, has stated that Helmut Marko has taken away valuable lessons from the aftermath of his contentious comments regarding Sergio Perez.
Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport consultant, attributed Perez’s irregular performance this season to his ethnicity during an interview conducted after the Italian Grand Prix.
The 80-year-old mentioned Perez’s struggles in qualifying, citing his South American background as a factor. After the backlash, he apologized, and Perez accepted it without offence.
When questioned about Red Bull’s lack of a statement condemning Marko’s comments, Horner responded to Sky F1, saying: “Well firstly, those comments, they weren’t right.
“I think Helmut quickly recognised that and apologised for that both publicly and directly to Sergio and he spoke directly to Sergio about it.
“I think you’re always learning in life, even at 80 years of age, and I think inevitably lessons have been learned.
Horner emphasized Sergio Perez’s importance to the Red Bull team and highlighted the massive global fan following that both Perez and the team have.
He mentioned Perez’s 250th race and the team’s focus on celebrating this milestone.
“Checo is a massively popular member of our team, is an important member of our team. I pushed very hard to sign him back in for the 2021 season.
“We have a huge following around the world and we take that very, very seriously and very responsibly.
“I think that the fan following, not that just Checo has, but what the team has and, and Formula 1 has, we’re very conscious of. This is his 250th race and we want to focus on that.
“From Helmut’s perspective, he’s apologised. He’s not an employee of Red Bull Racing.
“So in terms of why didn’t we put out a statement, he’s part of the Red Bull wider group, and the group obviously issued that apology through through the Servus TV channel.”
Horner responded when quizzed about Hamilton’s opinion on the matter, he remarked: “Helmut is technically an employee directly, or a consultant to the group. So it’s not really a question for me to answer.
“We’ve obviously spoken about it. I know he regrets what he what he said and he’s apologised. And as I say, even at 80 years of age, it’s still not too late to learn.”
Horner mentioned the existing code of conduct and ethics in Formula 1 and stated that Red Bull had been in contact with FIA and FOM regarding the recent controversy, emphasizing that it’s primarily a matter for the governing bodies, not the team.
“There is a code of conduct and a code of ethics and the sporting code and so that already exists,” he explained.
“Of course we’ve communicated with FIA and FOM throughout the last week, as you can imagine, and and that is very much a matter for them. Obviously, not for the team.”