Marko under fire after statement about ‘Mexican mentality’ Pérez: ‘This really has to stop’

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Marko under fire after statement about 'Mexican mentality' Pérez: 'This really has to stop'

Scott Mitchell-Malm, journalist for The Race, does not like the way Helmut Marko speaks about Sergio Pérez. The Briton finds the recent comment by the Red Bull Racing advisor about the ‘Mexican mentality’ of the number two in the world championship unacceptable. Criticizing the Mexican’s performance is one thing, but to suggest that there are shortcomings because Pérez is Mexican is going too far for Mitchell-Malm.

It is well known that Marko is not averse to harsh and sometimes controversial statements. The Austrian’s statements are not appreciated by everyone, but he often colors within the lines. However, last weekend, according to many, Marko crossed the line with his comment about Pérez’s origins. Speaking to ServusTV, the 80-year-old said: ‘As we all know, he has problems in qualifying. He suffers from fluctuations because he is South American, so he is not as focused in the head as Max (Verstappen, ed.) or Sebastian (Vettel, ed.) were.’

Apart from the fact that Mexico is not in South America and his statement is therefore not factually incorrect, Marko incurred the anger of fans on social media. The Race journalist Mitchell-Malm also thinks the Red Bull advisor’s statement is unacceptable. ‘This cannot continue like this. He deserves better than having to grin and endure derogatory comments from a high-ranking figure in Red Bull’s Formula 1 organization. The way Marko talks about him, that has to stop,” Mitchell-Malm said on The Race website.

Not the first time that ‘ignorant’ Marko has made wrong comments

According to Mitchell-Malm, last weekend’s comment is not the first controversial one from Marko against Pérez and the journalist mentions a number of other examples in which the Austrian’s comments about the Mexican were, to say the least, not chic. ‘A non-exhaustive list includes the suggestion that Perez had no need to fear the nearby missile attack in Saudi Arabia last year because Mexico City (the city that Perez is not even from) is also dangerous. He also joked that Pérez may have drunk tequila the night before the French GP because he ‘wasn’t awake’ at the restart.’ Last weekend the comment about his lesser focus due to his origin was added.

Marko tried to clarify his statement at the Austrian oe24 by saying that the mentality of a Mexican differs from that of a Dutch or a German. According to Mitchell-Malm, Marko seems completely unaware of what he is doing wrong. “This is exactly what everyone inferred from his original comment in the first place. Marko really doesn’t seem to understand why this is a problem. Hence the controversy. That’s pretty much the problem. It is fine to scrutinize Pérez as an F1 driver or to criticize him for his achievements, but to claim that his shortcomings are due to the fact that he is Mexican is another matter.’

Ignorance is not an excuse

Mitchell-Malm is convinced that Marko did not mean it in such a bad way, but according to the Brit, that doesn’t really matter. ‘It would be strange if Marko Pérez or anyone else wanted to offend. But that doesn’t really matter, not least because ignorance is no excuse for such a prominent figure. Marko is a well-known figure with enormous influence and reach, who regularly speaks to major platforms about F1 and all things Red Bull. What he says has given impetus and could cause more damage to the person he is talking about, in this case Pérez,” Mitchell-Malm judges.

Should Red Bull Racing intervene?

The last thing Red Bull will want is for Marko’s words to cause controversy. But why doesn’t Red Bull intervene? The answer, according to Mitchell-Malm, is very simple. ‘The simple answer is that he is not an employee of Red Bull Racing. He is not their official spokesperson. He is an advisor affiliated with the parent company Red Bull GmbH, which previously only reported to Dietrich Mateschitz, the man behind the Red Bull F1 empire and also Marko’s old friend. So while Marko represents the Red Bull brand when he appears on Red Bull channels, wears Red Bull teamwear during races and exerts clear influence on Red Bull’s F1 activities, he is independent of the structure of Red Bull Racing .’

“He previously received permission from Red Bull to express his opinion,” the journalist continues. ‘As a result, Marko is not accountable to anyone within Red Bull Racing, which cannot unilaterally do anything about him, even if they wanted to. From the outside, it seems easy to issue a statement distancing the team from his comments or condemning him. But if the team doesn’t actually have the authority to do that, then it can’t do that. But if Red Bull doesn’t take action, Marko will remain unchecked and this situation will happen again. And Pérez deserves better,” Mitchell-Malm said.

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