Helmut Marko faces mounting pressure following his use of a derogatory term with regards to Red Bull’s own driver, Sergio Perez.
The Red Bull advisor has been known to publicly criticise the Mexican driver on numerous occasions following Perez’s subpar performance in the first stint of the ongoing campaign.
However, Christian Horner has been working to reassure Perez of his place in the team for the upcoming season.
Marko crossed a line this week by employing a xenophobic term, implying that Perez’s performance was negatively affected because of his South American background.
In an interview with the Red Bull-owned broadcaster ServusTV, Marko hinted that Sergio Perez might not have the same level of focus as Max Verstappen, suggesting that his South American background could be a contributing factor.
“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.
“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.
“In the race, Perez did everything right and now we have circuits like Singapore, where he has already won and which suit him better.”
Neither Red Bull nor Sergio Perez have issued a statement regarding the situation. However, Marko’s comments have sparked a significant backlash from fans.
Helmut Marko had previously implied that Perez’s South American heritage might be a factor behind his inconsistent performance.
“As a South American, he generally has a lot of ups and downs,” Marko told Sky Germany in 2022. Max is not afraid, and Perez is very scared, although it isn’t different from how he lives in Mexico City.”