Marko’s ‘coronavirus camp’ plan wasn’t serious – Horner

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner denies they seriously considering exposing their drivers to the Coronavirus.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Banning DAS for 2021 is a mistake, says Xcb:

Why ban DAS? DAS is the innovation Formula 1 should strive for. Sure, it’ll cost some money, racing costs money. By outlawing DAS, you go one step further towards a bland, IndyCar-esque F1.

I got into Formula 1 after hearing about how the engines were so tight, you couldn’t turn them over at ambient oil temperatures, after looking at stressed member chassis designs, after seeing the insane wings of the 2010-2012, after hearing an F1 car could run upside down in a tunnel. This techy stuff inspires people to think harder, to come up with crazy innovative things.

What does IndyCar inspire? Yeah I want to adjust my camber better than anyone else? This lack of innovation is what kills spec on road series in my experience.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Seymour and Seymour!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1971: Future Prost and Minardi F1 driver Shinji Nakano

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

31 comments on “Marko’s ‘coronavirus camp’ plan wasn’t serious – Horner”

  1. As expected… Horner running PR spin containment for Marko. LOL

    CoTD is spot on.

    Innovation. It’s why F1 has a Constructor’s championship – that used to mean something.

    1. Absolutely agree about innovation @jimmi-cynic and have been banging on for quite a while that with a budget cap in place innovation should be encouraged and expanded, not restricted.

      Innovation is exactly what enables smaller budget teams to be able to compete with the bigger budget ones if they’re smart enough. Sure the bigger budget teams might catch up during the season if they haven’t spent to their cap, but given a head start it is possible for a team with a smaller budget to win a WDC or a constructors if there’s enough room for innovation. (Brawn anyone?)

      Without it, those teams that spend to their cap are still going to be miles in front and it’s more likely than not that one of them will be significantly better than the rest just like it is now.

    2. “Putting out fires lit by Helmut Marko” is the first item in Horner’s job description…

  2. Problem with DAS is it’s not an applicable technology. All it’s doing is adding movable parts to something that’s not needed, increasing risk of failure but not changing the sporting challenge.

    F1 can inspire by bringing technology to areas that can be used in other parts of life and engineering. DAS is not going to end up on electric cars in the future, so should not be developed.

    1. DAS is not going to end up on electric cars in the future

      From what I understand, DAS changes the suspension geometry, which is independent of the type of powertrain. I’d go so far as to say DAS is far more valuable to the experience of car manufacturers than aerodynamics which are more esoteric and will find much less use in any form of road car.

      DAS in its direct form as used in F1 might never make it into road cars. The lessons learnt from DAS, however? Those would be extensive as Mercedes would have analyzed in detail the suspension behaviour, and those lessons might show up in the future in some explicit or implicit manner (e.g. dynamic alignment, instead of taking the car to a shop to get the alignment looked at, or something else that we can only guess at today).

      I welcome more innovation on the chassis & PU side of F1 than aero for that very reason.

    2. Quite the contrary, DAS is something that can be used in normal road cars, @scottie.
      Most (if not all) road cars use ‘simple’ mechanical steering and AFAIK often have slight ‘toe in’ to aid stability. I can imagine that future cars can move to steering by wire and make toe (and that Ackermann steering angle stuff) something constantly adjustable. This way you can constantly move between stability, quicker turn-in, less tyre wear, etc based on driving, weather, and road conditions.
      There won’t be any pulling at the steering wheel though as that will be done by the computer.

      1. No it will never be seen even in the high end supercars. It is a technical gimmick and if it was worth having manufacturers would have already made an electrical version of it and put it into their cars. A lot of high end cars already use active suspension and active aero which are controlled by electric motors or hydraulics and computers and das is worth nothing in a road car. 100% useless. It has 0 upsides in a road car.

        Adjusting ackerman on the fly does nothing for 99% cars. Maybe for forklifts that’s even worth thinking about. Having that extra 4% less slip when doing a u-turn doesn’t warrant the complexity of such system. Not to mention adjusting to have less toe-in when driving straight is unwanted. In race car you may want that extra 1kph on the straight and extra 1% less tire wear if you reduce toe-in but in road car you want that toe-in for stability. Similarly the turn-in of having more toe out is mostly meaningless. The effect of das-like system on tire wear on normal car is also meaningless.

        It used to be that f1 is the cutting edge of technology and road cars are dumb and simple but that hasn’t been the case for 10+ years. Modern cars are filled to brim with technologies that can not be used in f1 car. The direction of tech is from road cars to f1 and a simple trick like das makes no difference at all when sportscars for example have been using electromagnetic suspensions, active aero and various electrical systems far longer than that.

        1. Unimaginative posters. I imagine this is why you don’t work for a competitive race team designing pinnacle level race cars.

          You spend so long trying to explain why it won’t work, that you can’t see that some day it might.

          I would love to ask a drunk Adrian Newey what he thinks about DAS…

    3. @Scottie

      And aero is widely used on road cars?

  3. The fact that Marko suggested it, serious or not, without understanding the severity of the virus he proposed exposing their drivers to tells you all you need to know about him. Ruthless in the search for any competitive edge. No matter the cost. Even to the detriment of the people he has been entrusted with overseeing their development.

    1. Agree, except for the drama part.
      Pirelli’s stock is 40% down? I’d buy shares too. Max’s f1, the new tyre, new circuits, new cars. All the above are delayed but Pirelli stands to gain, massively, especially considering f1 is not as expensive as it could be, the teams pay for the tyres.

  4. Karthik Mohan
    1st April 2020, 4:32

    I have no problem believing Christian Horner when he says Marko was just joking. I mean, come on, the entire grid knows how much of a prankster Marko is. Literally the first thing anyone says when they mention Marko is that he is the definitive “funny-guy” at Redbull.

    Still don’t believe him? Where do you think Ricciardo got his sense of humour from? That’s right, Helmut Marko.

    1. Comedy gold that. :)

    2. If Marko was joking or pranking us, then he got me good.

    3. April fools?

    4. Horner doesn’t say he was joking.

      “Helmut’s comments were made before understanding the severity. It has never been discussed or tabled as a serious suggestion.”

      He’s simply saying nobody took Marko serious, because of course normal people at Red Bull would have the same reaction we did and looked at Marko like he was mad before telling him no.

  5. CoTD 100%

  6. You will be surprised how many people were discussing getting infected on purpose, and many still do.
    Actually many governments have it as their strategy to get as many people infected as quickly as possible without overloading the healthcare system. It’s not a popular message and therefore hardly spoken about as the official ‘strategy’.

    1. I disagree with this statement. The government’s strategy is indeed based on the simple fact that people WILL get it and therefore the inevitability comes with a hope of (herd) immunity. That’s not strategy, that’s unfortunate fact. The strategy is, as you identified, to make sure the healthcare system gets an influx of patients they can handle, so you don’t end up like Italy has. That’s the strategy there, not “let’s find the healthcare system’s limit and make sure we’re at that limit so we can get immunity fast.” Because to get to herd immunity you need at least 60% of the population to get it, and to get to that point you’re looking at 1.5 years at least, when hopefully, there’s a vaccine or treatment that brings down the death percentage.

      1. I disagree with this statement.

        You might not like it, and as I said it is not a popular message (hence not explicitly communicated), but it is still the strategy, @aiii.

        If the strategy were to wait for a vaccine, then every government would have ordered a total lockdown. Consequences (financial, mental, healthwise) are deemed to be worse than getting on with life as much as the healthcare system can cope with. Like now in China, and eventually in Italy and Spain, you will see lockdown restrictions loosened when the healthcare system can cope again. Tough choices, ‘least worse of two evils’, but it is still a ‘strategy’ (and still a lot better than the 3rd alternative of doing nothing).

        Maybe I should not have stated it as confronting as “their strategy to get as many people infected …”, but used words like ‘accept that’.

        1. So you’re saying the same thing as I am, you just misworded?

          1. Glad you find the wording less confronting, but it doesn’t change content nor that it is a ‘strategy’ (chosen direction and course of action).

    2. Considering its harmeless to the mass healthy majority its not a bad idea. The scare, quite rightly is the old, ill, and smokers.

    3. antony obrien
      1st April 2020, 14:07

      Probably its mentioned on UFO sites. Absolute t w a d d l e of the lowest order

      1. If you think this is far-fetched then you probably don’t understand what it means, antony obrein.
        A pandemic outbreak has only 4 (major) strategies:
        1) total and absolute lockdown until the virus is exterminated – almost impossible (even China could not do this);
        2) test, test, test and quarantine all identified and suspected cases – WHO-recommended strategy, (D)
        3) limited infections to R0=1 (reproduction rate) at close to the level of the healthcare system capacity – the one I mention above (NL, but ‘smartly’ changed the name to ‘smart lock-down’)
        3b) same as above but have stricter lockdown rules for the vulnerable – (UK)
        4) do nothing – Belarus (and to a lesser extend S)
        You pick one (or do #4 by default) until a vaccine is available.

        Italy and Spain (USA next?) are not on any of these strategies yet as the spread of the virus was too fast that it overloaded the healthcare system before any of the first 3 strategies could be chosen (and the 4th is no longer morally acceptable).

  7. Of course, he wasn’t serious. It was just a yoke, after all.

    1. Helmut cant yoke, he is Austrian

  8. ^
    Or could be viewed as Horner sticking the knife into Marko..?
    Because at one stage there was a little confusion as to whether, it was Marko who originally suggested the camp or if it came from someone else within the team.

  9. RE: COTD

    Yes technical innovation is a massive part of Formula 1. But right now, the very survival of the sport is paramount. There will be no more technical innovation if there are no surviving teams left to innovate when the dust settles.

    1. @swh1386 people were throwing around the “c word” the second this came to light. Don’t let coronavirus be the scapegoat. Like many things in life, people made their minds up immediately. I immediately thought “that’s badass!” Go back and check the comments on sites like this and you will see, it was immediate.

Comments are closed.