Helmut Marko’s comments against Sergio Perez, according to Red Bull team chief Christian Horner, ‘weren’t correct.’
Horner’s comments are the first time a Red Bull representative has commented on Perez’s erratic form being blamed on his ethnicity.
“I know he regrets what he said,” Horner added. He has expressed regret. It is never too late to learn, even if you are 80 years old.”
Last week, Marko apologized publicly for his remarks on Red Bull’s Servus television channel.
“We know that he has problems in qualifying, he has fluctuations in form, he is South American, and he is just not as completely focused in his head as Max [Verstappen] or Sebastian [Vettel] is,” the Austrian said of Perez’s up-and-down record this season.
Marko is not the first to refer to Perez as a South American, despite the fact that the driver is from Mexico, which is geographically in North America.
Horner, speaking to Sky Sports following the first practice session at the Singapore Grand Prix, also explained why Red Bull as a team had not responded to Marko’s views until now.
“Helmut is not an employee of Red Bull Racing,” he clarified. “That is why we did not issue a statement.” He is part of the Red Bull Group, and they issued an apology via their Servus TV station.”
According to BBC Sport, Marko’s apology came after an intervention from Oliver Mintzlaff, Red Bull’s chief executive officer of corporate projects and new ventures.
Following the death of co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz in October, Mintzlaff is the executive in charge of Red Bull’s motorsport activities, and thus the guy to whom Marko must answer as a consultant.