Marko wanted to infect Verstappen with coronavirus: ''That makes them stronger''

Ross Houston
March 30, 2020

Red Bull's motorsport advisor believed that as strong, healthy individuals they would easily overcome the effects of the contagion, and then be immune prior to whenever the Formula 1 season started.

Speaking to the Austrian TV channel ORF, Marko said: "We have four Formula 1 drivers (Max Verstappen, Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Daniil Kvyat) and eight or ten juniors".

"The concept was to arrange a camp where we can link this psychologically as well as literally rather dead time".

"And that would be the ideal time for the infection to come". They also have physiotherapy to keep them in shape, so when the season starts, which will be a tough season, the guys will be ready for it'', Marko concludes.

Even though the first eight races of the campaign have been postponed or cancelled, Chase Carey, F1's chief executive, has insisted that the sport would still stage between 15 and 18 races, running until next January if necessary.

"There is no possibility to improve your fitness during the season".

"And that would be the ideal time for the infection to come".

However, the rest of the Red Bull management did not go with his idea and it was abandoned.

Marko added he had what he thought was a "heavy cold" in February but now thinks it could have been coronavirus symptoms. "I don't know if it was, because the test options are already very limited, but as soon as there is a chance, I would like to be tested afterwards". Marko, who runs the famous Red Bull programme which brought the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen into F1, said this period of inactivity was the flawless time for the company's drivers to contract the virus to ensure they would not fall ill later in the year.

"Max Verstappen is having more races than in a regular season", Marko said.

"Max does sim racing and sometimes competes in several races per day", Marko said.

"At the very same time they all have their very own physio, which they utilize for physical fitness workouts". Red Bull is the organiser of the Austrian Grand Prix, slated to be held on July 5, but now uncertain amid coronavirus.

"What is critical, however, is that all European borders have to be reopened, because viewers from all over the world come to such an global event".

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