A couple of weeks ago, when a lot of details about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, still weren’t fully understood, a theory that mass infection could lead to mass immunisation was going around. Now that we’ve seen how potentially deadly the virus can be, though, we now know that’s a really stupid idea.
But it’s an idea Red Bull Racing motorsports adviser Helmut Marko suggested to his team. The idea was to send all the drivers, including Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon, to a virus “camp” to be infected. In theory, they would quickly recover and therefore be immune to catching the virus again ahead of the racing season, or whatever.
Here’s more, from Helmut himself, from Motorsport:
Speaking in a video interview with Austrian television station ORF, Marko said: “We have four Formula 1 drivers, and eight or 10 juniors.
“The idea was to organise a camp where we could bridge this mentally and physically somewhat dead time. And that would be the ideal time for the infection to come.
“These are all strong young men in really good 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.”
So how did this idea go over with the rest of the team?
While Marko was convinced of the idea, he said his proposal did not go down well with other factions at Red Bull – so has been abandoned.
“Let’s put it this way: it has not been well received”, he said.
It’s not clear if Red Bull’s drivers would have had any say in, uh, self-infection of an unknown virus with no obvious cure.
Considering early theories that COVID-19 may not be a severe for younger, healthier individuals no longer appears to be an accurate assumption as more and more people in that category get critically ill, I think Red Bull ultimately made the right call.
Besides, all of you are super rich and the most capable of self-isolating. You work for a racing team, one of the least-essential jobs I can imagine. Just sit back, take your vitamins and take it easy. Maybe donate some money to organisations that need it.
And I’d keep one eye on Helmut.