Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has reacted to Sergio Perez's crash at the Mexico City Grand Prix, insisting his contact with Charles Leclerc was a “racing incident”.
Perez had a strong start from fifth on the grid and drew alongside Leclerc and team-mate Max Verstappen as they headed into the first corner.
As they tussled for the lead of the race, Perez made contact with Leclerc and suffered terminal damage as a result.
Marko has been critical of Perez's performances on several occasions this year amid a series of poor showings - but played down his role in the incident.
“It was a racing incident, that can happen,” said the Austrian. “He saw an opportunity.
“He was on the outside of Leclerc and wanted to steer inside. A racing incident.
“You can't blame Checo for anything. It's too bad we lost 19 points to Hamilton [in the Drivers' Championship]."
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Continuous questions have been raised this year regarding Perez's future with Red Bull.
Amid his run of difficult results, suggestions have been made that the 33-year-old could be ousted as early as next year despite having a contract in place, with Marko reiterating that this will not be the case.
"How many times do I have to repeat this? Checo has a contract for 2024 and it will happen,” he said.
“Until the first lap of the race, he drove a super weekend and I am convinced he would have been on the podium."
Marko also had praise for the Mexican fans in attendance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.
“They were super! An incredibly sporting crowd and I have rarely experienced such an atmosphere," said Marko.
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