Doubts are now surrounding whether or not Ferrari will compete in the Australian GP as the Coronavirus outbreak is causing travel restrictions.
Ferrari has opened up about their current situation, explaining that they are seeking assurance that their staff will be allowed to travel, without facing any quarantine restrictions, before travelling to Melbourne in order to compete in the season opener on March 15.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus in Italy has already had a major effect on sporting events in the country, including Serie A and European football fixtures whilst Italy’s Six Nations’ rugby match against Ireland has been postponed.
Ferrari already had trouble with getting staff members to the F2 test in Bahrain this weekend, with Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto stating that his team will need confirmation from FIA and F1 officials that his team will receive no surprises in their efforts to travel to Australia.
While speaking to Motorsport.com Binotto said that “If there are any medical screenings, we need to know about them. You need to know exactly what’s about. We need to understand what are the consequences in case of any problem.”
He then further went on to say that Ferrari needs to protect its employees and that they have “collective and individual responsibility towards them.” Furthermore, Binotto stated that before leaving for Melbourne, Ferrari will make sure whatever their situation is, that it is made known and clear.
However, it’s not just Ferrari’s AlphaTauri team who may be affected by this, Ferrari also provides assistance to the Haas and Alfa Sauber teams, so problems could expand beyond their garage.
Binotto posed the question into what would happen if four teams cannot compete in the Melbourne GP due to the outbreak but said that it is not his decision to make if this was to happen.
The F1 and Victorian government are both hoping that they can go ahead with current plans for the Melbourne GP, however, as we’ve seen recently plans could change due to the Coronavirus if they find the GP to be a health risk.
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