Helmut Marko doesn’t seem very happy with one of his drivers, Sergio “Checo” Perez. In a recent interview with Servus TV, the Red Bull Formula One advisor expressed his disappointment with the Mexican racer’s performance on the team.
“Perez is not consistent,” Marko, 80, said before following with what people are calling a xenophobic comment. “He is South American. He is not always focused.”
Marko added that he would like to see Lando Norris, who is currently racing on the McLaren Formula One team, replace Perez. He called it “unfortunate” that Norris was under contract until 2025. Perez’s contract lasts through next year.
“[Lando] is definitely a candidate for us,” Marko said. “At Toro Rosso, we had already reached an agreement with him at the time, until his manager realized there was an option for a McLaren contract. In terms of youth and speed, he would suit us very well. Sergio, on the other hand, is already over 30 and is expecting his fourth child. So, he also has other interests, so you have to see what happens next.”
During the same interview, Marko did give Perez some credit for his “very strong personality and … mentality,” which he said was needed to race alongside the likes of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. “Perez is the one who has done the best of all drivers in recent years and also won races.”
Perez also recently told DAZN España in an interview, “With the season we’ve had, it’s important that I’m in an environment for the next few races where I feel like I can contribute. If that place is not here in 2024, we will have to look for alternatives”.
This past March, Sergio Perez won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The following month, he became the first-ever repeat winner of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.