Red Bull respond as Marko clarifies 'Corona camp' suggestion

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says his suggestion of a 'Corona camp' for their drivers was never about intentionally giving them the Covid-19 virus.

At the start of the week, the Austrian made comments to TV channel ORF that were interpreted as him claiming that by catching the illness, Red Bull drivers would become immune, therefore making them ready when racing begins again later this year.

However, Marko insists he was misinterpreted and he would never intentionally put the health of others at risk.

“Of course that’s not true. It wasn’t about deliberately infecting someone. That came out wrong in the interview because it was also cut together,” he was quoted by Grand Prix 247.

“In Austria, you’re being overwhelmed by corona in the media. No matter if it’s television, radio or newspapers: It’s all about the virus. Even our use of mockery, for which Austria is otherwise held in high esteem beyond its borders, is nipped in the bud in times like these.

“One thing is certain: I won’t send my children to war willingly.”

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Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner also downplayed the seriousness of Marko's controversial quote.

“As Helmut pointed out when he raised it, it wasn’t received with support from within Red Bull," he told the BBC.

“It was in many ways a throwaway comment before understanding the seriousness of the pandemic. It has never been discussed or tabled as a serious suggestion,

“Red Bull, yes, they have many athletes but the focus regarding all the actions that are going on at the moment is that this can affect young people, old people, vulnerable people. It is not a limited sector this applies to.

“So things like the ventilator project we are working on (Project Pitlane) demonstrate how seriously we are taking this and how much effort’s going behind it.”

Marko though remains unconvinced by the threat posed by the coronavirus, claiming he has already overcome the illness himself.

“If people of my age, the highest risk group of all, can survive the disease, it’s fair to say that young, well-trained competitive athletes like our racing drivers should at least be less afraid of the consequences,” he explained.


“This is the only reason why we considered organizing the training camp despite the danger of Corona. Above all, it should distract the boys and keep them fit but there was never any talk of deliberate infectiousness.

“Of course you have to be careful and try to get the pandemic under control as soon as possible. But please with a sense of proportion. I’m sure the virus got me in February. I had a 10-day cold with all the symptoms that are attributed to the virus.

“When I flew to Melbourne for the scheduled Grand Prix, I felt better. On the return flight, I had to stopover in Dubai. There were conditions there that you can’t imagine. Tens of thousands of people from different nations were scurrying around in a very confined space but against all logic, I was not infected. Probably because I was already resistant.”