Lewis Hamilton has labelled Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko’s comments about Mexican driver Sergio Perez as “unacceptable.”
Marko came under fire recently for comments made on Austrian TV network Servus TV attempting to explain Perez’s performance slump midway through the 2023 season.
“Let’s remember that he is South American, and so he is not as focused as Max Verstappen or Sebastian Vettel was,” he said.
The Austrian has since apologised for his “offensive remark” via a statement where he also stated he wanted to “make it absolutely clear that I do not believe that we can generalise about people from any country, any race, any ethnicity.”
When asked by Sky Sports F1on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix about the quotes, Hamilton said: “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.
“I think it just highlights, firstly, the work that still needs to be done.
“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.
“Not surprised, to be honest.”
Reports claim that people have been calling for Marko’s resignation from the Red Bull system and that Team Principal Christian Horner will address the matter to the media in Singapore.
On whether the overall response to the situation has been suitable, Hamilton added: “I don’t know what was said beyond, that’s something to ask Checo, but I think this is not something that you just apologise [for] and it’s all ok. I think there needs to be more done.
“Teams, when they’ve had individuals, particularly drivers, make comments but [also] 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.”
One such instance of a driver losing their seat came last year when former Red Bull Academy driver Juri Vips was let go following the use of a racial slur.
“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,” Hamilton continued.
“It just shows how important it is that we continue to do the work.
“The work that I’m trying to do with my team and with the sport.
“We still have a lot of work to do moving forward to make sure that this is a more inclusive environment.”