Helmut Marko, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2020

Marko says ‘Coronavirus camp’ comment was misinterpreted

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In the round-up: Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says stories he proposed deliberately exposing the team’s drivers to the Coronavirus are wide of the mark.

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Comment of the day

Racing Point turning into Aston Martin is a good news story for F1, says Witan:

I am relieved Stroll reaffirmed his investment and the shareholders agreed to his plans.

Formula 1 is in danger after this economic disaster brought about by the virus. There are real fears for some teams’ survival and others continued participation.

To moan about a billionaire rescuing a famous marque and bringing it back into F1 is misplaced. How many other possible rescuers are out there for Williams or to buy Alpha Tauri or Alpha Romeo? Which way will Haas jump? This crisis is not over yet and already old certainties have fallen away and more will follow as time and financial pressures go on. Not even the biggest teams will be untouched.

So let’s celebrate a dynamic entry into manufacturing and future racing, bringing a historic team back and using business acumen to revitalise a historic brand. We need more of it to keep F1 on track.

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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...

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23 comments on “Marko says ‘Coronavirus camp’ comment was misinterpreted”

  1. Marko is always wrong, but not that wrong. Inoculate a highly contagious but mild virus in a controlled way is what some governments are trying to get, the main subject is control over the amount of people infected to be able to treat them with limited resources, if they are young and healthy human beings and are treated and followed closely there is very little to be afraid of and the whole team can forget about the matter over the season and following years.

    1. That concept falls apart when you realise that while a large majority may not die, they may still need hospitalisation and even ICU.

      So when you have so many needing hospitalisation in such a short space of time, that model totally collapses as there is not enough resources.

      It is then the limited resources that become a factor in contributing to a higher death rate.

    2. And that health 12 -16 years kids dies from this mild virus is something your going to risk? a trip to the ICU is also damage to your lungs so you can kiss your season away if that happens.

    3. “if they are young and healthy…and are treated…there is very little to be afraid of”

      I’m afraid you’re very, very wrong on that account. This can kill you regardless of age, sex or how healthy you are, whatever the treatment. That’s not even taking into account the dangers of exposing other people to it, incidentally or deliberately in the process. This is not a virus you can safely contract at this point in time.

  2. https://www.racefans.net/2020/03/25/racefans-round-up-25-03-3/

    It was when I saw this round-up and the part that was interpreted into English that said Marko winked at Max about his concerns over the virus, that I thought this was all tongue in cheek and nothing Marko was serious about at all. As was confirmed by Horner. Not that any of this will stop the usual and predictable snide remarks directed towards both people no matter what they are saying.

    1. Winking out of a blind eye doesn’t count. And Horner confirming it means anything? One of the biggest liars in the paddock.

      1. Winking out of a blind eye doesn’t count.

        I’m more impressed that he was able to do it over the phone ;)

  3. Ahem, BORN ON THIS DAY; The future SIR Jack Brabham 3 times WDC.
    Not born SIR Jack but now a past, not future, 3 x WDC.

    1. Apologies, I transposed the “SIR” from the above video, and I suppose for the believers Jack may be winning championships in F1 Heaven.

      1. He has as good a chance as any to win the 2020 WDC.

  4. Interesting, yesterday’s article here estimated that about thousand people are required to run a F1 race, the quote from the Azerbaijan race director makes this number much larger.

    1. @kaiie The larger figure means it would be a mass event on all nations’ definition, which means it’s unlikely that barring fans would help get the season going much, if any, faster.

  5. The temporary circuit-status and the lead-time (I suppose building-up the Baku City Circuit takes roughly seven weeks as is the case with Monaco) needed to get everything ready in time will make it very difficult to reschedule Azerbaijan for later this year, and especially as August is the only month where there’d be room for it, and that’d only work if neither NL nor Spain was to get placed there or at the very least, only one of these two.

    I thoroughly agree with the COTD, though. People indeed should praise than instead of being critical to any extent.

  6. Hakk The Rack
    2nd April 2020, 8:16

    Marko has no alternative now. He has to deny, in order not to loose his authority. The other side of the issue is the fact when he planned the camp (and i believe he did), the picture of covid-19 was as follows: virus’ dangerous for people > 60yo only, but today, under global histeria (which’s totally understandable), he can not confirm his original idea in order not to loose to many factors inside and outside his team.

    1. If he really intended it, it is still a criminal offence to deliberately infect a person with a disease in a large number of European nations (in Germany, for example, it carries a five year jail sentence). The legal consequences alone should have made anybody realise the recklessness of that idea – and denying that it was a serious idea is not just about authority, but about avoiding legal action.

  7. If you study the Sparco ad well you can spot a current F1 driver.

  8. RIP Sir Jack Brabham he was of a period that will not likely be repeated. He like many others of the time were not just excellent drivers but mechanical and electrical engineers, tyre experts and aerodynamicists. They do make modern F1 drivers seem a little one dimensional.

  9. I am neither for or against any suggestion.
    But there is logic in infecting a few people with an easily treatable virus, in a very controlled environment.
    The reasons we have an almost total breakdown in some regions as regards health delivery, is because many didn’t know they were afflicted and reported too late and simultaneously which is no different from everyone withdrawing all their money from the bank. The system can’t cope.
    The virus is easily treatable if treatment is started early enough.
    That is the logic, but we could also have unforeseen scenarios or preexisting conditions that can lead to complications, which is the big unknown.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd April 2020, 14:29

      Some people (the ones going into the IC) end up hooked to a ventilator for weeks though. Plus then their lungs are wrecked and they need to recover for many months. Perhaps even up to a year

  10. Marko trying to use the well worn political tactic of saying I was taken out of context or I was misinterpreted doesn’t hold water. Earlier when he said he suspected he had it and got over it definitely seems to be an attempt at playing down the severity of the virus.

  11. It would have been perfectly fine, covid only kills the ill and old so anyone under 70 would have been barely affected by a mild sniffle.

  12. Marko’s comment misinterpreted? Hell no! That’s the perfect representation of what Red Bull represents.

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