British F-1 racing team McLaren caused a small political rift over the weekend in Austin after Mexican flags altered to include cannabis leaves were flown over the team’s merch stalls at a race in Austin, Texas.
It probably wouldn’t have been so bad had members of the Mexican consulate’s office not seen it and tweeted it out to the interwebz. The consulate said they were highly offended called the mistake “unacceptable”.
McLaren apologized and called the incident “regrettable” and “embarrassing”, but in a smugly British way they also shifted the blame by saying the flags were clearly “not an official McLaren product” and that a subcontractor hired to set up and run the McLaren booth had actually been at fault.
|“A total disrespect in official stores McLaren Mexico have the flag with a marijuana leaf”|
“A mistake was made,” McLaren captain Martin Whitmarsh told the (U.K.) Daily Mirror. “It caused some embarrassment, we withdrew the products from the stands. We don’t run the stands but we nevertheless went out and did so.”
McLaren is refusing to name the vendor. Incidentally, the team announced the week prior to the race and flag incident that they were sacking Mexican driver Sergio Perez from the team in 2014.
Perez issued a statement on Twitter, however, saying his former team would never purposefully deface the flag. “McLaren would never do something like that,” he wrote.
But we would.