Lewis Hamilton calls Marko’s F1 comments about Sergio Perez “completely unacceptable”

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Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton called the recent remarks by Helmut Marko about Sergio Perez’s ethnicity “completely unacceptable”.

“Whilst 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 forwards.”

Adding that he was “not surprised” about Marko’s remarks, in which he theorised that Perez’s Mexican nationality led to a lack of focus compared to his Red Bull teammate, two-time defending champion and current points leader Max Verstappen, Hamilton lashed out at lingering prejudices within the sport at its highest levels.

“There are a lot of people in the background that really are trying to combat these sorts of things but it’s hard to manoeuvre if there are people in the top that have those sort of mindsets, that just stop us from progressing.”

As not just a multiple world champion and record holder in Formula One, Hamilton has used his platform and influence to advocate for greater inclusivity and an end to discrimination within motorsport. He said that this incident “highlights the work that still needs to be done” to reach these goals.

“It just shows how important it is that we continue to do the work[…] that I’m trying to do with my team and with the sport.”

Despite Marko’s subsequent apology, Hamilton noted the relative silence from the larger Red Bull camp in the wake of the incident.

“Teams, when they’ve had individuals, particularly drivers, make comments but some individuals in the background, they usually are 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.”