/ Motorsport

Perez sorry for women in kitchen remark

Updated: Saturday, 05 Jul 2014 11:41 | Comments

Sergio Perez during practice ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Sergio Perez during practice ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Force India driver Sergio Perez has apologised to Susie Wolff about an apparent joke about female drivers.

On Friday Wolff became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a grand prix weekend by driving in first practice ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Wolff's outing for Williams was unfortunately short-lived as the 31-year-old was out on track for four laps, with only one timed, before an oil pressure problem forced her to pull the car off the circuit.

Perez, in an interview with Spanish television station Antenna3, praised Wolff as a "great driver" before being asked whether he would like a woman driver as a team-mate, to which he replied while laughing: "No....they would be better off in the kitchen".

Perez is understood to have been heavily criticised for his comment by people on Twitter and other social media networks.

That resulted in the Mexican issuing an unreserved apology on Twitter and Instagram before releasing a statement on his official website where the 24-year-old admitted that his comment, though meant as a joke, was "unacceptable".

He said: "I feel really ashamed by the way my words have been distorted about the opportunity of racing side by side with a woman.

"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, meanwhile, has not taken offence and has urged people to lay off Perez.

Taking to Twitter herself, and posting a picture of her and Perez with their arms around one another, Wolff said: "Saw some comments made by @SChecoPerez as I was making dinner in the kitchen last night...?? Please give him a break...

"His comments were taken completely out of context. Anyway, as my family will tell you, I drive better than I cook!"

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