Marko: I wanted to have a coronavirus camp

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed he wanted to create a camp where his drivers could contract the COVID-19 virus, in order to ensure they had immunity when the racing season is started.

Marko, who has been vocal in his scepticism of the seriousness of COVID-19, told Austrian broadcaster ORF he had considered infecting his stable of drivers with the disease.

“We have four Formula 1 drivers, and eight or 10 juniors.

“The idea was to organise 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.

“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.”

Unsurprisingly, Marko’s proposal was not a popular one with the team.

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

Instead, Red Bull’s plan is to ensure its drivers are completely prepared for the upcoming season while staying in their own homes.

“Max [Verstappen], for example, I think he drives more races than in a real season. He does sim racing and sometimes competes in several races per day,” he said

“At the same time they all have their own physio, which they use for fitness exercises. That’s ideal for working out now.

“If there is a racing season with 15 to 18 races, it will be very, very tough. There is no possibility to improve your fitness during the season. So it’s actually ideal to use this time now.”