Red Bull chief Helmut Marko tries to defend Nelson Piquet following the latter’s racist comments on Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has questioned the timing of the outburst of Nelson Piquet’s racist comments on Lewis Hamilton ahead of the British GP.
Marko has accused the Mercedes team of trying to divert the attention from the 2021 British GP crash by bringing up Piquet’s old interview.
The 79-year-old Red Bull chief said, “I don’t want to defend Piquet, but if you translate Portuguese correctly, what he said isn’t nearly as blatant.”
Ahead of the 2022 British GP, an old interview of the triple world champion surfaced on the internet. He used racial slurs and homophobic comments to describe Hamilton.
It immediately caught fire and turned into a massive controversy. Piquet also became subject to lifetime F1 bans and criminal prosecutions.
— F1 Third Umpire (@f1thirdumpire) June 28, 2022
Marko further defended Piquet and said, “But we know Piquet. Even when he was active, he always made ill-considered statements.
“The only odd thing is that this interview from last November surfaced a few days before the British GP.”
He accused the Brackley-based team of covering up last year’s contentious crash between Max Verstappen and Hamilton. Marko said, “This timing is no coincidence.”
Red Bull chief says everything becomes political with Mercedes
Marko also backed Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s statement that the title battle with Ferrari is much smoother than with Mercedes in 2021. The 79-year-old insisted, “With Mercedes, everything always becomes political.”
Furthermore, he opined that this year’s battle with Ferrari is more enjoyable. Marko also expressed sympathy for the Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc following his heartbreaking DNF at the French Grand Prix last weekend.
Speaking about the Red Bull vs Ferrari battle, the Red Bull chief said, “We meet on an equal footing in terms of sport. It’s just a shame that Leclerc and Ferrari keep making mistakes in their battles with us.”