Helmut Marko issues public apology to Sergio Perez – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez in serious conversation with Helmut Marko. Britain July 2023

It’s been a very busy day in the world of F1 news to say there is no race this weekend, and we’re here to catch you up on all of it.

Helmut Marko has apologised to Sergio Perez after finding himself in hot water, Lewis Hamilton has bitten back at another multiple World Champion and we’ve got several exclusive interviews for you on this fine Friday.

Let’s dive into this particular F1 news selection, shall we?

Helmut Marko apologises after derogatory comments about Sergio Perez

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko made reference to Sergio Perez and his nationality (both in a derogatory and incorrect fashion) when discussing his performances alongside Max Verstappen.

In praising his performance on Red Bull-owned ServusTV, Marko raised eyebrows for this line in particular: “Let’s remember that he is South American and so his head is not as focused as Max Verstappen or as Sebastian Vettel was, but racing is his forte and he had a very good race.”

For that, Marko has now apologised, saying in a statement: “Concerning my remark about Sergio Perez, ServusTV Sport and Talk, Monday September 4: I would like to apologise for my offensive remark.

“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 has fluctuated in his performance this year, but it was wrong to attribute this to his cultural heritage.”

Read more:Helmut Marko issues statement on ‘offensive’ Sergio Perez remark

New AlphaTauri CEO exclusively speaks to PlanetF1.com

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer gave up some of his time to speak to PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher at Monza, with plenty on the agenda – not least the upcoming rebrand of Red Bull’s junior team moving forward.

The former FIA general secretary offered insight into what that process might look like, how the team arrived at the decision to change the AlphaTauri name next season – though a new name remains tightly under wraps for now – and how they will closer align themselves with the ‘senior’ squad from next year.

There’s a lot of ground covered, so click the link below to have a read.

Read more:Explained: Why Red Bull are planning huge second team rebrand for F1 2024

Exclusive: Jacques Villeneuve weighs in on in-team battle at Mercedes

In another of our exclusives, 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve offered his thoughts on the struggles George Russell is facing to keep up with Lewis Hamilton this season, having had a better time of things last year.

After coming out on top in the points standings last season between the two and scoring Mercedes’ only win in 2022, Russell has found himself lagging behind Hamilton this time around.

“Russell is having a hard time compared to last year, he had a much better season last year for some reason,” Villeneuve said.

“So I don’t know if it’s him that has changed, or Lewis that is driving better, but the balance has shifted a bit this year.

“乔治去年是典型的……记住] what [Daniel] Ricciardo did when he arrived in Red Bull?

“George moved from Williams to Mercedes, and Lewis was there. So compare Vettel to Ricciardo, and Lewis to George.

“Lewis wants to win races… but George wants to beat Lewis. So it’s not the same approach in setting the car up.”

Read more:Jacques Villeneuve alarmed by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ‘balance shift’

Hamilton hits back at Stewart’s ‘hunger’ criticism

After an interview in Germany where three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart lit the touch paper somewhat by suggesting Hamilton no longer has the same “hunger” he used to in Formula 1, the seven-time champion has had his say on the matter.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Friday morning, Hamilton was asked specifically about those comments from the Scot, and he responded: “There are people who are very short minded that make the comments that they do, not knowing the work that has been done in the background.

“One thing I hope, and I never want to do is, in the future, when I one day stop and looking back on the youth or the next driver generation, I want to be encouraging them and let them know it’s okay to make mistakes.”

Read more:Lewis Hamilton hits back at ‘short-minded’ F1 legend after stinging criticism

Daniel Ricciardo shares scar photo as recovery goes on

Daniel Ricciardo is still on the road to recovery after surgery on the broken hand he suffered at Zandvoort recently, but he is now out of a cast – as evidenced by the photo of a heavily-stitched hand he has now shared on social media.

He is back in the gym as he looks to keep himself at full fitness for when he is eventually able to get back into the car, but the Australian’s hand was plied with stitches following surgery after a broken metacarpal, which occurred in a free practice crash in the Netherlands.

Liam Lawson will continue to deputise for him at AlphaTauri until he is able to race again, with Christian Horner saying the Singapore Grand Prix is likely to come too soon for him, and Suzuka may also be an ambitious ask.

Read more:Daniel Ricciardo shows off nasty scar as hand surgery rehab continues