Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Verstappen had Covid-19 vaccination before heading to Bahrain

2021 F1 season

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Max Verstappen has become the latest driver to confirm he has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, while several of his rivals took the opportunity to be vaccinated while in Bahrain, the Red Bull driver revealed he was vaccinated before travelling to the Middle East for pre-season testing. He told media today he had the vaccine in Europe.

While Verstappen races under a Dutch licence, he was born in Belgium. He did not confirm where in Europe he received the vaccine. He is understood to have arranged his vaccination personally, without any involvement from his team.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez, who missed two races after contracting Covid-19 in August last year, has been vaccinated against reinfection. Perez confirmed on Friday he took advantage of the Bahrain government’s offer to provide the Pfizer-Biontech jab to any F1 personnel who requested it.

Charles Leclerc has also had the vaccine along with some other members of the Ferrari team. AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost confirmed yesterday his entire team has been vaccinated while in Bahrain.

Six Formula 1 drivers have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, including Perez and Leclerc. The others are Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 20 comments on “Verstappen had Covid-19 vaccination before heading to Bahrain”

    1. So VER, PER, SAI, LEC, GAS, and TSU are drivers who’ve received vaccination thus far. Everyone while in Bahrain except the first.
      The rest should use the opportunity given by Bahrain as it might come in handy later.

    2. How? He’s what…22? This sounds as if it might explode in his face. I know 60 year olds in Europe who are patiently waiting to be notified as to when they’ll get the vaccine…and MV can go and get one when he wants? I’m over 50 and in the UK which is roaring through them and I still haven’t had mine yet! Some questions!

      1. One law for the rich and another for the poor

      2. Why should it “explode in his face” unless you are going to be a bit of a jealous bean about it. There’s plenty of places you can easily get vaccinated if you can afford it, that the UK hasn’t gotten around to you yet is hardly on Max.

        Are you gonna get miffed about the Bahraini’s vaccinating all the under-50s UK team members as well? It’s not their fault you’re not up yet in the UK, either.

        1. Hi Aiii,

          ‘Why should it “explode in his face’…because a lot of folks are dying in Europe because supplies are slow coming. The fact that somebody young, incredibly fit and with plenty of money can get the vaccine before someone without will rankle the general public.

          ‘There’s plenty of places you can easily get vaccinated if you can afford it’….are there?? Really?? Not in the UK there aren’t!

          ‘that the UK hasn’t gotten around to you yet is hardly on Max’….not sure I said it was. I was making the point that the UK are way ahead of most (so I’m incredibly lucky) and we’re still doing 55-60 year olds…not 22 year old elite athletes.

          ‘Are you gonna get miffed about the Bahraini’s vaccinating all the under-50s UK team members as well?’…they’re not in Europe and as far as I know, not suffering the same rates of death.

          As I’m older and reasonably well off, I could buy a vaccine. I won’t. There are limited supplies so I’ll wait my turn and let folks who need it more have it first.

          1. He didn’t recieve a vaccation from the UK but i understand him he doesn’t want to get infected and miss races.

          2. I understand the pros and cons but frankly if governments fu up the vaccinations process I also feel no longer obliged to wait in line. What a farce, where some countries are already finished and others are not even moving the needle. Such incompetence..

      3. Bahrain opened its vaccines to anyone above the age of 18. Hence, a quarter of the grid, plus staff from multiple teams have opted to accept the offer.

    3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      14th March 2021, 17:13

      He did not confirm where in Europe he received the vaccine

      So pretty good guess would be in a country where he shouldn’t have been able to get one at this moment in time.
      Both Belgium and The Netherlands aren’t even close to giving the vaccine to people that aren’t involved in dealing with patients (or elderly, but Verstappen doesn’t apply to that group either).

      Good for him I guess.

      1. @barryfromdownunder Unless he was part of one of the vaccine trials (they have to be tested across multiple ages before they can be cleared, and convention is that those involved don’t specify they were in a trial unless it’s absolutely necessary. A press conference does not count as “absolutely necessary”).

        1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
          18th March 2021, 15:32

          None of the trials were conducted in a European country

    4. Doesn’t matter as long as u get one at 1st chance. Only need one round of vaccination (2 injections), order doesn’t matter, get one whenever you can. He will be travelling all over the place so it’s very responsible to get this ASAP.

    5. I wouldn’t be too upset if someone like Max and a handful of other celebrities that people look up to get it before their turn comes up, if this is used to promote vaccination in that country and get as many people to have the vaccine as soon as they can.

      A Grand Slam-winning tennis star, under 30, got it in my country some weeks ago, and the whole press was there for her to encourage people to register for the vaccine.

    6. I really don’t understand comments made on covid vaccine related articles on here which allude to the fact that F1 folk should in some way feel ashamed that they are getting vaccinated. Each country does things differently and if someone can get vaccinated, either off their own back or as part of some national rollout, and they want to be vaccinated why shouldn’t they do it? Given the amount they travel it is actually an incredibly sensible thing to do.

      For the record, I live in the GCC region and received my two doses of the vaccine free of charge back in January. I moved back here for the second time after living in the UK so I’m aware how far down the queue (read veeery far) I would have been had I remained there.

      1. If someone can just drop litter, why shouldn’t they do it?

        1. @john-h Because that’s a crime. Getting a vaccine when you are legally entitled to is not.

    7. Sir Superspreader has his COVID antibodies already.

    8. Why would a perfectly healthy 22 yr old risk their body and future for something they don’t even need to worry about?

      It won’t stop him getting it or spreading it, so what was the point?

    9. Personally, I think this is a disgrace.

    10. isthatglock21
      18th March 2021, 13:40

      Amazing how Verstappen is one of few people who can seemingly get away with anything tbh. This is the only report I’ve seen on this, If it were any British driver going for private vaccine over others in resource-scarse Europe, their would be uproar & front page news. Perks of being Dutch I guess, Or from Belgium/Monaco as he’s never really lived in Netherlands I believe. Either way its clear there’s no way on earth he got the vaccine in Europe by official means, Even the UK which is doing great doesn’t give it to under 50s yet, Nor does even Monaco.

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