Sergio Perez says he accepted Helmut Marko’s apology and that the matter is closed, as Max Verstappen responds to Toto Wolff’s comments.
Post the Italian GP weekend, the F1 fraternity had latest drama from Marko’s side when he called out Perez and his heritage/background when talking about why he maybe behind the likes of Max Verstappen and or Sebastian Vettel.
He noted about him being from South America (when he is from North America) and compared it with European drivers and their general advancement. That didn’t go down well naturally and Marko had to release a statement via Servus TV.
Red Bull stayed mum on the topic after Marko apologised to Perez privately as the Mexican noted which closed the matter. The Mexican stated that he wasn’t offended by the remarks but he can’t control media and or the fans who took offence.
“I had a private conversation with him,” Perez said. “He did apologise. And that to me was the main thing. And yeah, basically, we move on. I have a personal relationship with him. And I think you can always have those feelings 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 we have that he doesn’t mean it that way. [I was not offended], not at all, if I’m totally honest. Knowing Helmut, like I say, have a personal relationship with him. I know, he doesn’t mean it that way.
“And as I said, I didn’t get offended at all personally. Let’s say if those comments were from a different perspective or so on, I would have to take them differently. But to me, it’s just how things are, and I didn’t take them personally. Whatever I say to the media, or he says to the media, is different to the conversations we have.
“So anyway, we have a good relationship and I know that is not related to that side. Like I say, Helmut I did apologise, I think we all make mistakes. And what to me was the most important [thing] is that I take his apology, his personal apology. What happens afterwards, and on the media side or on the public guy, that’s not in my control.
“To me, the most important is the personal relationship. We will always have a chat on track, off-track, here and there. We see each other pretty much every weekend. He will tell you what he thinks. I think something that we can appreciate from Helmut is that he is very transparent, to the media and to the world in general, and also to the drivers. So it’s just how he is,” summed up Perez.
This is the latest trouble from Marko’s side who has been on the other side of pond in terms of controversies. While the apology is done and dusted but it adds to the list which will not sweep away from the minds of the current generation of fans.
Moving on to his teammate, Verstappen has his respond to Mercedes chief Wolff’s comments too. Post the record-breaking win in Monza, the Austrian termed the record as another one for ‘Wikipedia’ before clarifying what he meant by the statement.
Wolff felt such records mean less to him but if Red Bull wins all the races in F1 2023, that will be something that he can salute to. Verstappen, meanwhile, was chill about the comment and noted about Red Bull being appreciative about things than Mercedes is.
“I’m not disappointed in that,” said Verstappen. “But they had a pretty shit race, so probably he was still pissed off with their performance. He almost sounds like he’s an employee of our team sometimes. But no, luckily not. I think it’s just important that you focus on your own team. That’s what we do as well.
“That’s what we did in the past as well, when we were behind them and when they were dominating, and I think you should be able to appreciate when a team is doing really well, which I think we’ve done in the past because it worked also as a kind of inspiration.
“You know to see someone that dominant, it was very impressive at the time and we knew that we just had to work harder, try to be better and try to get to that level. And now that we are there, we are very happy of course that we are there and we are enjoying the moment and honestly, that’s all I can say about it,” summed up Verstappen.
Here’s Christian Horner on Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen new bicker
Here’s Toto Wolff on ‘perfection’ records referring to Red Bull
Here’s Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez saga