Red Bull Racing motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has addressed the issue previously, though his initial-and radical-idea of purposely exposing his team's drivers to the sickness failed to garner support within the paddock.
"The idea was to organize a camp where we could bridge this mentally and physically somewhat dead time", Marko told an Austrian TV station.
The 76-year-old's idea, which has sparked outrage within the team, was to gather Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon together with AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, plus several junior proteges, in a so-called "corona camp", so that they would transmit Covid-19 to each other and, in theory, stand a better chance of being in peak physical condition when races resumed. "They are all strong young men in peak health".
"That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts, and you can be ready for what will probably be a very tough championship once it starts".
Austria is due to host a grand prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 5 but that too remains uncertain.
Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey had said last week that they are expecting to run a shortened season of 15-18 races once racing starts after the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought entire sporting calendar to a grinding halt. Marko said that there would be no possibility to improve fitness during the season.
Helmut Marko made the startling admission while speaking with Austrian broadcaster ORF, explaining he had planned to organize a training camp to ensure drivers and team members would be in ideal physical condition once the season eventually resumes.
Unsurprisingly, Marko's Red Bull entourage was unimpressed with the absurd scheme.
"I believe Max Verstappen drives more races at the moment than in a normal season", Marko said. "So it's ideal to use this time now". At the same time, the drivers all have their own physios, which they use for fitness exercises. That's ideal for working out now.
Marko added he had what he thought was a "heavy cold" in February but now thinks it could have been coronavirus symptoms.
Six races have also been postponed and the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May canceled.
"What is critical, however, is that all European borders have to be reopened, because viewers from all over the world come to such an worldwide event".
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