Formula 1: Helmut Marko bizarrely wants Max Verstappen to catch COVID-19

Red Bull Racing team manager Helmut Marko has stated that the best thing for Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen is “if he got infected now”.

With the coronavirus pandemic having brought the world of sports to a screeching halt, Formula 1 saw its season opener moved back by nearly three months to a date that is still subject to change.

The season was slated to get underway with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, March 15, but now it is scheduled to begin with the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, June 14.

This is because the Australian Grand Prix, along with the next seven races, have been either put on hold or scrapped completely from the schedule.

Formula 1 postponements and cancellations: TRACKER

There are still plans to run between 15 and 18 races throughout 2020, despite the fact that these eight postponements and cancellations have whittled down what was once a record-breaking 22-race schedule to just 14 races.

This would be the lowest single-season race tally since the 14-race 1980 season and tied for the lowest since the 12-race 1972 season.

Current 2020 Formula 1 schedule: TRACKER

This lengthy delay, which could end up becoming lengthier depending on how the threat of COVID-19 evolves over the coming weeks and months, has led to some interesting comments from Red Bull Racing team manager Helmut Marko about his team’s top driver.

Marko revealed that 22-year-old Max Verstappen is “terrified” of getting the virus.

His solution?

Get infected now.

Here is what Marko had to say in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

“He [Max] told me on the phone he was terrified of getting the virus. The best thing would be if he got infected now, he’s 22, it’s not at a high risk and he would be in a better place for the run to the title later being already immune.”

Indeed, as a perfectly healthy and fit 22-year-old, Verstappen is in a very low-risk group of individuals when it comes to COVID-19, perhaps to the point where he could catch the virus and not even show symptoms. That would not, however, eliminate the possibility of him spreading it to others.

Verstappen, along with several other drivers, has been racing online from home during this unexpected time of self-isolation after signing up with esports outfit Team Redline.

Next: Top 10 Formula 1 drivers of all-time

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.

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