The Formula 1 2020 season is taking place as a global pandemic, Covid-19 is affecting the world, this means that very strict mearsures are being put in place to prevent the key players in Formula 1 from contracting the deadly disease. This includes the drivers and each team member who are tested multiple times on each race weekend.
If anyone, including the drivers may turn out to be positive for Covid-19, they have to leave the race immediately and self isolate as they are getting proper medical care for quick recovery. This had happened to Racing Point driver, Sergio Perez who had to miss the two races in the Silverstone after testing positive for the disease.
Helmut Marko, particularly was not impressed with the number of people who were not wearing masks during the Russian Grand Prix held at Sochi as he revealed that his two Redbull drivers were very lucky not to suffer the same fate as Sergio Perez.
“There was great life there [in Sochi], good-humoured fans, great weather, just a good atmosphere in the city, [but] outside of the paddock there were very few walking around wearing masks,” he told speedweek.com.
“It will not be able to continue like this with the restrictive measures. We had a driver whose girlfriend was infected and he wasn’t infected. Another was at a party where three infected people were present, and he was also negative.”
Marko did not specify the names but he was obviously talking about Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon, this comes as there is a lot of speculation on how it will play out for Alexander’s seat as his struggles and unstable performance would see him off the Redbull team. Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have all been linked to the seat. Marko still insists that they prefer to be keeping Albon, he refused to rule anything out showing that all their options are still open.
“If Alex Albon performs well, he stays. If not, there will be deliberation,” Marko added.
“We would then see which drivers that are good are on the market. But that’s not an issue at the moment.”
The 2021 driver options is not the only the only worry for the Redbull team, as Honda recently announced that they will be leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2021 season. They are the current engine suppliers for the Redbull team and they will have to look for another engine supplier. However Marko is not panicking as he and Dietrich Mateschitz had known long ago that Honda will be leaving even before Christian Horner, the Redbull boss.
“We are working in all directions because we knew about Honda’s decision for a long time,” he said.
“Mr Horner is a team principal, but not involved in strategic matters. Mr Mateschitz and I have known for a long time.”
“There is an option to exit at the end of each year. This is not our priority. When we have the facts together, Mr Mateschitz will decide.”