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'It has not been well received': Red Bull F1 boss says his idea for drivers to contract coronavirus was shot down by colleagues

'It has not been well received': Red Bull F1 boss says his idea for drivers to contract coronavirus was shot down by colleagues
Boss of the Red Bull Formula 1 team Helmut Marko suggested his drivers contract the coronavirus during the hiatus created by the pandemic, but was stopped by other members of the organization's management team.

Marko said he wanted to bring together all of his star Formula 1 drivers and junior racers in a mid-hiatus camp, and said it would be the "ideal time for the infection to come."

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Speaking to Austrian television channel ORF, Marko said he wanted to make sure his team was fully fit and healthy for the start of the F1 season when it eventually resumes.

"They are all strong young men in good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts," he said.

"We have four Formula 1 drivers and eight or 10 juniors, and the idea was that we would organize a camp to mentally and physically bridge the dead time."

However, Marko's colleagues in the Red Bull F1 management team were against the idea and it was scrapped.

"Let's put it this way: It has not been well received," he said.

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The team is currently awaiting a decision from F1 bosses regarding the 2020 season, with the championship head Chase Carey suggesting that F1's 2020 calendar could be rearranged to include 15 to 18 of the original 22-race schedule, with the season potentially running into January 2021.

Marko suggested that plan may be overly-ambitious, saying, "If there is a racing season with 15-18 races, it will be very tough. There is no possibility to improve your fitness during the season. So it's actually ideal to use this time now."

Marko also revealed his belief that he had already contracted the coronavirus.

"I had what I thought was a severe cold and the symptoms would match corona," he said.

"It was also something that I had never had in this intensity.

"I don't know if it was because the test options are currently very limited. But as soon as there is a chance, I would like to be tested afterwards."

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Red Bull are also involved in producing ventilators for the UK government, with their factories being used to help mass-produce the additional ventilators needed to assist the UK's National Health Service (NHS) with the growing demand due to the crisis.

"Production has already started here, we are producing ventilators," he said.

"This is the big plus of Formula 1, that you can react to the greatest technological challenges in the shortest possible time and also have the necessary speed in production.

"We have been on the so-called early summer break since last Friday, but the production of those parts that are made for the British government continues during the break."

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