Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2021

Verstappen took extra precautions to avoid Covid during off-season

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen describes the steps he took to avoid contracting Covid-19 during the off-season.

Verstappen “avoided festivities” to steer clear of Covid

Verstappen, whose new team mate Sergio Perez missed two races last year after contracting Covid-19, was asked whether he was convinced he would avoid catching it before the season begins, and whether he had taken special precautions against the pandemic.

“If you get it, you get it,” said Verstappen. “There is not much you can do about it.”

“I didn’t go to Dubai,” he added. “I avoided festivities and ensured I mixed with the same group of people.

“But it can happen to the most cautious people.”

Perez is one of six Formula 1 drivers who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 12 months. Two – Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll – also missed races during the season. The others – Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly – contracted the virus during the off-season. All have since recovered.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Are Red Bull realistically in danger of losing Max Verstappen at the end of the season?

I’m guardedly optimistic for Red Bull and Honda this season too, but I don’t see it as their last chance of keeping Max, for no matter what happens this season I don’t think there will be anywhere better for Max to go.

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Alexandre Premat won both A1 Grand Prix races for France at the Monterrey in Mexico, giving them a commanding lead in the championship with four races to go

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Keith Collantine
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21 comments on “Verstappen took extra precautions to avoid Covid during off-season”

  1. What did Salo said? A slip, or just making fun of the press? Either way you slipped. Can’t mess with the press.

    1. I believe it was reported that he said that Ferraris punishment for cheating was to have less fuel available during races and this is why their performance was so horrible. He said the penalty is now finished and Ferrari will be allowed to use the normal amount of fuel from this year and should be competitive again.

      1. Just a pity he denied that initial rumour.
        Couldn’t wait for it to be picked up by QAnon.

        Although I don’t want to see an angry mob with placards saying #SavetheChildren #GiveFerrariFuel marching on 14 July from Place de la Bastille to Place de la Concorde.

    2. @peartree @aliced True. Here’s a translation of what was said about the matter in the Twitch conversation:
      Salo: “They suffered from Ferrari’s cheat last year because they had Ferrari motors and could use less gas, so I think Alfa would be pretty good this year when they get their full power.”
      Kristian Sohlberg (former rally driver): “So Ferrari’s getting out a new engine, right?”
      Salo: “I dunno if it’s a new engine but they’re allowed to use it to its full power. Having to use less gas was their punishment for their cheating last year”

      1. It seems to refer to max fuel flow, rather than fuel quantity. @jerejj, @aliced

        And I cannot detect any ‘joking’ in this conversation.
        But this might be hilarious to Finns ;)

        1. @coldfly that would be my guess as well, but his words does not make it 100% clear which it is.
          I wonder if he misspoke and forgot he was not supposed to talk about it in public or was it really a joke?

          1. All the same – you have to wonder if Ferrari were penalised and if so, how.

            Its one thing not using the engine in the same way, but was the engine the eng without its extra fuel flow, really that bad? Or was it made worst with these other restriction on fuel?

            Maybe having used too much fuel, they had to ‘return it’ in some way. There’s so much about that episode which still isn’t known, or talked about. Did Ferrari [and the teams they contribute engine units to] just get off with a sturn talking to?

  2. Will be very interesting to see the Ferrari engine performance this year as I often thought throughout 2020 that something along the lines of what Salo suggested might actually be true.

    The performance drop was too steep for any sort of minor tweak to the engine to have that much of an effect.

    If the Ferrari engine does bounce back to pre 2020 levels then we could be in for a great year.

    1. @aussierod
      If they got a penalty, especially that hard, it wasn’t because some sort of misfortune or injustice, but because their 2019 engine was in breach of the rules.
      So, they probably won’t bounce back to those levels of performance, as it was then reached illegally.
      I do hope they will be competitive with RB, though, it would provide a lot more spectacle.

      1. not to mention their 2017 & 2018 engines…

      2. Kinda hope Ferrari wins a race again this year. Sainz wil rebuild Ferrari.
        Wait, I think that you destroyed the chill pills that you received weeks ago…

  3. ”I didn’t go to Dubai” – What is this supposed to mean? Did he (at least indirectly or inadvertently) refer to the trio of Leclerc/Norris/Gasly or something else?

    Good for Salo to clear things up over the misunderstanding he inadvertently caused.

    The Sky link leads back to this round-up.

    COTD: I agree. I’m fairly positive HAM is going to continue beyond this year, so I don’t see a change happening.

    1. He didn’t travel unnecessarily, is what he meant. And yes, that probably does refer to the people that did travel to Dubai and got it there, as all three of them did and it stands to reason they were there together. It’s likely Max was also invited to go, but decided not to and stick with just visiting his family/friends at home.

      1. Actually, Max went to Brazil. And Lando/Charles/Pierre went to Dubai separately and for different reasons.

    2. @jerejj Thanks for the heads-up on the Sky link, that’s been fixed.

  4. COTD: Other than Hamilton retiring, I don’t see Verstappen at Mercedes. Especially with the operation style of that team. Even if Bottas somehow decides to call it off at the end of 2021, I see Russell-Hamilton for 2022. Hamilton said he wants to drive the new cars. As such, I expect him to stay for 2022. Although it would be nice to see Verstappen ditch Red Bull, leave them searching for someone new to take over his place.

    1. Maybe they’ll agree to a drive swap for a year. LOL

      Let’s face it they way they are going, penalising the Champions with fewer development hours, they may has well introduce a system which grants the drivers lower down the order a gauranteed chance to drive the top machines. :-/

    2. @krichelle For sure I fully expect LH to add two more years to this season once they sort the details on that this year, but I also am convinced this is VB’s last year at Mercedes as I think they really need to get GR there to learn from LH while he’s there.

  5. Aren’t the drivers getting the vaccine before the season starts?

  6. The Gene Haas comments on how Grosjean is lucky to be alive and how dangerous his crash was such that he couldn’t continue sponsoring him are complete BS. Gene has hired two much less experienced drivers for 2021 who will likely be crashing a lot more often. The truth is Gene doesn’t want to sponsor Grosjean, which is fine, but he shouldn’t try to disguise it as if he’s doing Grosjean some kind of favour or looking after him, that’s just BS.

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