Ferrari has confirmed that it will shut down its Formula 1 operations from Thursday, in line with the FIA’s decision to move forward the summer break from July and August to March and April and extending it from 14 to 21 days.
F1 has current abandoned the first four races of the season, but its events in the Netherlands and Spain also appear to be in doubt with Europe now the epicentre of the pandemic.
The team released the following statement:
“Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, whose staff, along with millions of people in Italy and around the world, is having to deal with the Covid-19 virus pandemic, fully supports the FIA and Formula 1’s decision to bring forward the usual summer shutdown. Scuderia Ferrari will therefore be shut as from tomorrow, Thursday 19 March, up to Thursday 8 April inclusive.
“The priority for the team has always been the safety of its employees and their families, which is why, for several days now work in the Maranello facility has been suspended, replaced where possible by a smart working system.
“We are just as disappointed as our fans that we cannot be racing, as we have done for over 70 years, but when confronted by a situation as serious as this one, it is vital that we follow the advice of the authorities and limit all activities as much as possible in order to contain the virus as efficiently as possible. We will wait for the situation to improve so that we can return to normality, in our daily lives as well as in sport, including motor racing. In the meantime, our thoughts are with everyone affected by the virus and those working on the front line to combat it.
“Maintaining our distance, but still united, this virus can be defeated.”
Haas F1 Team has also revealed it will shut down its operations between the same dates, while Red Bull Racing says it will close for three weeks from March 27 – but pointed out that "due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic there may be some flexibility around these dates".
Alfa Romeo Racing has confirmed its shutdown will begin on March 23.