Coronavirus in F1: Red Bull's Helmut Marko told team's drivers to become infected

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3/30/2020 10:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/30/2020 10:29 AM

https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/52091905

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko said he advised his drivers to become infected with coronavirus while the season is in hiatus.

The 76-year-old said he had the idea to bring his Formula 1 drivers and juniors together in a camp, which "would be the ideal time for the infection to come".

"They are all strong young men in good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts," he said.

The rest of Red Bull management were against the idea, which was abandoned.

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"Let's put it this way: it has not been well received," Marko said.

The Austrian was speaking in an interview with his country’s television channel ORF, in which he added: "We have four Formula 1 drivers and eight or 10 juniors, and the idea was that we would organise a camp to mentally and physically bridge the dead time.”

The camp, he said, would have been organised to ensure the drivers were in the best possible physical shape once the season starts again.

The start of the F1 season has been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus, with the first eight races called off and the next events in Canada, France, Austria and Britain in June and July all under threat.

F1 boss Chase Carey has said he is aiming to reconfigure the season starting in the summer and trying to fit in as many as 15 to 18 races out of the original 22. The season could run into January next year to fit in as many events as possible.

Marko said: "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."
austrian grand prix
Red Bull also organise the Austrian GP, due to take place on 5 July - but will it?

Red Bull are the organisers of the Austrian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to be held on 5 July, but Marko said it was impossible to say at this stage whether the race could be held on that date.

"At the current time, you would have to be clairvoyant to make a correct forecast," he said. "I cannot judge whether 50,000 or 100,000 spectators would make a difference.

"What is critical, however, is that all European borders have to be reopened, because viewers from all over the world come to such an international event. And it is difficult to assess to what extent the virus can be brought under control in the individual countries."

Marko said he suspected he had already had the coronavirus in February, but that because of limited testing availability in Austria he could not be sure.

"I had what I thought was a severe cold and the symptoms would match corona," he said. "It was also something that I had never had in this intensity.

"I don't know if it was because the test options are currently very limited. But as soon as there is a chance, I would like to be tested afterwards."

And he said that Red Bull was contributing to the wider effort among UK-based F1 teams to produce ventilators to increase capacity in the NHS.

"Production has already started here, we are producing ventilators," he said. "This is the big plus of Formula 1, that you can react to the greatest technological challenges in the shortest possible time and also have the necessary speed in production.

"We have been on the so-called early summer break since last Friday, but the production of those parts that are made for the British government continues during the break."

Marko said that if current plans for the season go ahead, for Red Bull, the loss of revenue from fewer races was not that big a blow as they would save more money by running the cars less.

"Reduced costs due to fewer races are significantly lower than our losses in revenue," he said. "Our material orders - these are all special spare parts - have already been made every year, as have many hotel bookings.

"[F1 owner] Liberty expects a loss of $200-300m (£161-242m) in revenue, and this is also transferred to the teams in a quota. That is why we decided to take these austerity measures to make up for this loss of revenue."


Good idea?

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3/30/2020 10:33 AM

Saw an Olympic swimmer got it... He said it set his training program back 6 months or more...

Imo, terrible idea... If I am our top riders, you don't wanna chance it...

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www.bettercallsaul.com
Die Antwoord

3/30/2020 10:51 AM

Even if you’re young and healthy the disease can cause lifelong scarring of lung tissue.

Incredibly misguided and overall stupid proposal.

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3/30/2020 11:00 AM

I see both sides, I don't want it, but wouldn't you rather get it now than during the middle of your season no matter what sport you're involved in?

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Instagram - @MxCulture

3/30/2020 11:08 AM

Chance of decreased lung capacity, no athlete should want this.

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3/30/2020 11:21 AM

WTF? That's a crazy idea.

This virus is not the chicken pox.

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3/30/2020 11:22 AM

It could damage your lungs for good. No one wants that.

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3/30/2020 11:49 AM

This has to be the dumbest, most WTF shit I've heard in a while.

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3/30/2020 12:16 PM

There was another Austrian fella who advocated infecting folks with viruses and such.

Anyone remember his name?

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3/30/2020 12:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/30/2020 12:28 PM

RoflCopter726 wrote:

Chance of decreased lung capacity, no athlete should want this.

Exactly... If I am a top athlete and my body performing at a high level is how I make a living, I would be hunkered down pretty hard...

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www.bettercallsaul.com
Die Antwoord

3/30/2020 12:31 PM

This reminds me of “Chickenpox Parties”, they had when I was a kid.

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3/30/2020 1:05 PM

XMuttX wrote:

This reminds me of “Chickenpox Parties”, they had when I was a kid.

Only chickenpox are rarely fatal

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3/30/2020 1:13 PM

XMuttX wrote:

This reminds me of “Chickenpox Parties”, they had when I was a kid.

South Park did a pretty funny episode on that.

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3/30/2020 1:29 PM

No parties for measles or polio or meningitis back in the day though

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Twitter: @ftemoto
Instagram: @mstusiak

3/30/2020 4:28 PM

Amazing that someone could rise to this level of management and yet be so tone deaf and uninformed that he would think this was a good idea

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3/30/2020 5:32 PM

XMuttX wrote:

This reminds me of “Chickenpox Parties”, they had when I was a kid.

RoflCopter726 wrote:

South Park did a pretty funny episode on that.

South Park has an episode for everything

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3/30/2020 5:42 PM

April fool's joke?
So amazingly dumb...

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3/30/2020 7:24 PM

No. Not a joke.

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3/30/2020 10:34 PM

Sometimes i scratch my head and wonder how Helmut Marko has been able to get so far "in life". That is a crazy proposal like others have already mentioned.

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3/30/2020 11:46 PM

Ah... Austrians just discovered the russian roulette...

Just give them few weeks and they will start to use aluminium. cool

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- Filthy Euro
- Silly prankster
- Life-long Zook fan
- Rooting for all privateers on this rotating ball of carbon, hydrogen, silicon and poop

3/31/2020 2:44 AM

Covid-19 death rate is 10x the flu

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3/31/2020 2:59 AM

Motofinne wrote:

Sometimes i scratch my head and wonder how Helmut Marko has been able to get so far "in life". That is a crazy proposal like others have already mentioned.

He's in line with plenty of knowledgeable people. We are all quite likely to get it in the next few years until, hopefully it is eradicated polio style. As likely also is that like the common cold it becomes a nasty, mutating feature of human life.

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If the glass is half full it's twice as big as it needs to be.

3/31/2020 3:07 AM

Motofinne wrote:

Sometimes i scratch my head and wonder how Helmut Marko has been able to get so far "in life". That is a crazy proposal like others have already mentioned.

Momus wrote:

He's in line with plenty of knowledgeable people. We are all quite likely to get it in the next few years until, hopefully it is eradicated polio style. As likely also is that like the common cold it becomes a nasty, mutating feature of human life.

Yes, i'm well aware of the theory/tactic of deliberately getting the sickness. It's pretty much the tactic that Sweden has taken, they tried to get mass immunity to the people in a controllable way.

But that is for normal people. As a professional athlete, getting something like Covid-19 can be very bad news regarding the performance of the lungs after the fact that you got sick.

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3/31/2020 4:49 AM

Well maybe as the leader of the team, the 76 year old Helmut Marko should try it out for himself first?

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3/31/2020 5:09 AM

Crossup wrote:

Well maybe as the leader of the team, the 76 year old Helmut Marko should try it out for himself first?

Bingo

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

3/31/2020 6:43 AM

Motofinne wrote:

Sometimes i scratch my head and wonder how Helmut Marko has been able to get so far "in life". That is a crazy proposal like others have already mentioned.

Momus wrote:

He's in line with plenty of knowledgeable people. We are all quite likely to get it in the next few years until, hopefully it is eradicated polio style. As likely also is that like the common cold it becomes a nasty, mutating feature of human life.

Motofinne wrote:

Yes, i'm well aware of the theory/tactic of deliberately getting the sickness. It's pretty much the tactic that Sweden has taken, they tried to get mass immunity to the people in a controllable way.

But that is for normal people. As a professional athlete, getting something like Covid-19 can be very bad news regarding the performance of the lungs after the fact that you got sick.

An athletes lungs should be in better condition than your normal persons so they would suffer less s the extension of your logic.

A lot of people don't get deep lung pneumonia from Covid.

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If the glass is half full it's twice as big as it needs to be.

3/31/2020 9:09 AM

25% of vitalmx readers think this is a good idea....just saying. lol

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3/31/2020 9:17 AM

Camp covid19....sounds like a lot of fun. Where do I sign up?

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3/31/2020 8:30 PM

FWYT wrote:

This has to be the dumbest, most WTF shit I've heard in a while.

You got that right.

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3/31/2020 9:25 PM

Crossup wrote:

Well maybe as the leader of the team, the 76 year old Helmut Marko should try it out for himself first?

The article states that he suspects he already has had it based on symptoms of a cold he had in February. He did not have access to tests at the time, but hopes to get his titers checked in the future.

I imagine Helmut got where he is because he's able to consider multiple angles and is not afraid to speak his mind. It's a rare thing these days since most are nothing more then lemmings who can't think beyond what they see on CNN or Fox. We're in sad shape.

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