Force India’s Sergio Perez, who starts from seventh on the grid in Silverstone race, has apologised for his sexist joke about Susie Wolff’s outing for Williams in Friday practice outing.
The Mexican told Spanish television station Antenna3 that he would not like a woman as a team-mate, adding that women were “better to stay in the kitchen”.
Wolff did not take opposition, instead laughing off the comments while defending the Force India speedy.
Now Perez has himself apologised via social media and on his website for his “unacceptable” remark and said Wolff was a close friend.
“I feel really ashamed by the way my words have been distorted about the opportunity of racing side by side with a woman,” he said.
“I want to be absolutely clear that my intention was not to offend anybody, and my comment does not reflect a “macho” posture on my behalf. I recognise that my comment, even though it was intended as a joke, was absolutely out of place and also unacceptable.
“I believe and I am truly convinced in gender equality; there are women in my life that are very important for me and that show me this every day and my admiration for them is incomparable.
“With Susie Wolff I hold a very close friendship and I admire her greatly for her determination; I wish her the best of luck as a person and as a professional driver.
“Once again I want to thank everybody and I offer this next race in Silverstone to all the women in my life that have been there for me and that follow my career closely.”
Wolff said on Twitter that Perez’s comments were “taken out of context” and that people should “please give him a break”.