Red Bull F1 adviser proposed infecting team drivers with coronavirus

Red Bull Racing adviser and former racing driver Helmut Marko pushed for a “Corona Camp” to infect (and therefore inoculate) drivers as the team waited out downtime stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Marko planned to gather all of Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 and junior series drivers (approximately 15 personnel) together to guarantee contact. With the illness out of the way, he suggested, the team would then have been ready to tackle the remainder of F1’s truncated season without fear of infection-related complications. 

How exactly the group would have been exposed to the virus initially was not detailed in the report.

Marko described the concept to Austrian TV station ORF as “… a camp where we could bridge this mentally and physically somewhat dead time. And that would be the ideal time for the infection to come,” Motorsport.com reports.

“These are all strong young men in really good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts. And you can be ready for what will probably be a very tough championship once it starts,” Marko continued.

The proposal, which had all the hallmarks of a chickenpox play date, was nixed by Red Bull, for reasons which probably do not need to be explained.

“Let’s put it this way: it has not been well received,” Marko said.

F1 is currently running a virtual season, allowing drivers (and fans) to compete online in digitized replicas of world Grand Prix circuits. The first race was held March 22; more are expected to be added to the calendar, coinciding with each canceled real-life race. 

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