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Marko unimpressed by COVID-19: I was hoping that Formula 1 would send a signal

Marko unimpressed by COVID-19: "I was hoping that Formula 1 would send a signal"

21-03-2020 17:43

James St Denis

Red Bull Racing's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has voiced his displeasure at recent coronavirus outbreak, believing that the sport should have sent a message by racing in Australia last week.

The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled two hours before the first practice session, after McLaren pulled out of the race after one of their team members tested positive for coronavirus, with only Red Bull and their sister team AlphaTauri requesting to race and Marko feels the race would have gone ahead if it was up to him.

"I was hoping that Formula 1 would send a signal," Marko told the Austrian OE24"In Australia, the local promoter and authorities were willing to let the event go ahead. Then we faced the positive test at McLaren and his boss gave Toto Wolff a starting ban for Mercedes.

"In 2005 in Indianapolis there were only three teams at the start. If we had gone on track on Friday, a large part of the teams would have followed our example. The mood on the return flight was also very strange. Three-quarters of the passengers was Formula 1 staff."

76-year-old Marko belongs to the risk group because of his age but believes the whole coronavirus pandemic is being exaggerated.

"I spent 14 hours in Australia. I landed on Friday and the event was held the same day I immediately flew back via Dubai," Marko said. "That airport is the corona hotspot, where a huge number of people from all different countries are packed together. If you don't catch the virus there, I don't know where."

With the season more than likely to start in June, potentially in Baku, it will be a little while longer before we see Helmut Marko at a Formula One race again.

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