Lewis Hamilton lambasts Marko’s xenophobic Perez comments: I’m not surprised

The Red Bull advisor has apologised to the Mexican over his comments.

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Lewis Hamilton has criticised Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko’s comments about the ethnicity of Sergio Perez, saying the attitudes have no place in modern Formula 1.

Marko issued an apology to Perez after he claimed that the Mexican’s culture and heritage made him less focussed and unable to compete with Dutch teammate Max Verstappen.

While Perez has said that Marko apologised to him personally, feels the comments and Red Bull‘s lack of immediate statement condemning the comments showed the work still to be done in combatting racism in the sport.

“It was completely unacceptable what he said,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “While we say there is no room for any type of discrimination within this sport, which there should be no room for it, to have leaders and people in his position making comments like this is not good for us moving forward.

“I think it just highlights the work that still needs to be done. There are a lot of people in the background that are trying to combat these sorts of things, but it’s hard to maneuveure when you have people that are at the top that have those sort of mindsets.

“It just stops us from progressing. I’m not surprised to be honest.”

Following the interview going viral on social media, the 80-year-old Austrian issued an apology via Servus TV for the inappropriate remarks.

“I would like to apologise for my offensive remark,” Marko said in a statement. “And I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not believe that we can generalise about the people from any country, any race, any ethnicity.

“I was trying to make a point that Checo [Perez] has fluctuated in his performance this year, but it was wrong to attribute this to his cultural heritage.”

Apology not enough

While Perez said that he has accepted Marko’s apology, Hamilton said that did not go far enough in addressing the issue.

“This is not something that you just apologise and it’s all ok. I think there needs to be more done,” Hamilton said.

“I think teams when they have had individuals, particularly drivers, make comments with some individuals in the back they are usually removed or at least they put out a quote and say they don’t support that sort of thing.

“So it is interesting that they haven’t done so for this one. But it’s not my team and it’s not how we move as a team.

“It just shows how important it is that we continue to do the work with the team and the sport, we still have a lot of work to do moving forward to make sure that this is a more inclusive environment.”

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