Red Bull motor sport consultant Helmut Marko has been given a written warning by the FIA over comments he made about the team’s driver Sergio Perez last week.Max [Verstappen] or Sebastian [Vettel].”
Servus TV issued a statement on behalf of Marko four days later saying he “would like to apologise for my offensive remark.”
The FIA has confirmed Marko has also received a written warning and been reminded of his responsibilities as a public figure in motorsport in line with their Code of Ethics. Article 1.2 of the code states “there shall be no discrimination between participants to the FIA activities on the basis of race, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, philosophical or political opinion, family situation or disability.”
Yesterday Perez confirmed Marko had personally apologised to him for the comment. “I have a personal relationship with him,” said Perez. “When you see that sort of stuff knowing the person helps a lot because I know he doesn’t mean it that way. And I took his apology because I know Helmut from the personal relationship that he doesn’t mean it that way.”
Marko’s remark was roundly criticised by rival team bosses during Friday’s FIA press conference in Singapore. “It was not a great comment,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “I can understand why people were offended by it.”
Alfa Romeo team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said: “It’s very important that as Formula 1, as a community, we need to be respectful.
“We started a path all together going to work towards diversity and inclusion and this must be factual. We don’t need to just have a strategy in place, we need to have behaviours that show to people how we value this in Formula 1 and we need to be careful how to comment things.
“I’m Italian, so I know that sometimes we have been facing the same comments as Italians. I think that everyone must be respected. We are all working hard, we are all trying to prove that we can do a good job here in Formula 1 at any level, from drivers to people. We just need to show really inclusion and to show that Formula 1 is an open community where everybody can find his place, or hers.”
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