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COVID-19: Red Bull boss proposed drivers to become intentionally infected to prevent illness during season

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."

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munich Published on: March 30, 2020 19:27 IST
Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko
Image Source : GETTY

Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko

Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko had advised his drivers to get infected with coronavirus while the season is in a break, he has said in a startling revelation.

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", as per a BBC report.

"They are all strong young men in good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts," he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

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

"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."

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey had said last week that they are expecting to run a shortened season of 15-18 races once racing starts after the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought entire sporting calendar to a grinding halt.

The original 2020 calendar had 22 races but the season is yet to start with the first eight postponed or cancelled and more likely to be called off amid the ongoing crisis.

The campaign was supposed to begin March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix, but that race was called off hours before the scheduled start of free practice, followed in rapid succession by the postponement of the next six races on the schedule: Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco. On Monday, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, set for June 7 in Baku, was also postponed.

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