‘Clearly Perez’s Fault’ – Marko Hangs His Red Bull Driver Out to Dry for Ocon F1 Clash

Published 04/17/2021, 6:09 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Helmut Marko is not someone who minces his word. The Red Bull advisor is as blunt and unfiltered as they come in F1. The person on the wrong end of his sharp tongue this time? His team’s own driver, Sergio Perez.

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Sergio Perez did not always see eye-to-eye with Esteban Ocon when they were teammates at Force India. The two frequently clashed and both of them came to blows during the first free practice session at the Emilia Romagna GP on Friday.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The cameras failed to capture the collision between the two drivers, with Perez sustaining rear left damage and Ocon pulling over on the side of the track just a few meters away from the Mexican. Afterward, the FIA ruled that it was neither driver’s fault.

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However, Red Bull consultant, Helmut Marko does not share that viewpoint. Pinning the blame on his driver, he said“This was clearly Perez’s fault, who passed Ocon and then this incident happened. The damage is repairable, but of course he lost time. But it was a difficult situation in general.”

He did, though, acknowledge the technical glitch that hindered Perez, “The problem was that the pit radio was not working in its entirety. And that seems to have irritated most of the drivers.”

He took one final shot at the drivers. “I don’t know what they have rear-view mirrors for.”

Perez blames Red Bull glitch and ‘bad timing’ for the clash

The Red Bull driver was the biggest loser in this scenario. He lost plenty of running, which is crucial for him as he adjusts himself to the RB16B. After the practice session on Friday, he provided his own thoughts on the incident.

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“We didn’t have radio so I think that was a miscommunication through there. I was slower than he was and I misjudged going into the apex, but it was just bad timing for myself.”

Hopefully, it is not the beginning of a deteriorating relationship between Perez and Red Bull. For if you fall on the wrong side of Marko once, there could be no coming back. The Mexican has a chance to redeem himself by pocketing a huge points tally in Imola.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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