Ferrari begins its summer shutdown

Michelle Foster

First female appointment to FDA a "key moment" in Ferrari history.

Ferrari will begin its three-week summer break today, saying it “fully supports” Formula 1’s decision to bring forward the break.

Earlier this week Ferrari announced that it had shut down its factories, both Formula 1 and car production, as they are located in the heart of Italy’s hot zone.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 3,000 people in Italy, forcing the country into draconian lockdown measures.

It has also forced sporting series around the world, including Formula 1, to come to a standstill.

While the standstill continues, Formula 1 announced on Wednesday that it would take an early summer break, freeing up August for potential races should the situation improve.

Ferrari voted in favour of the early summer shutdown, and will start its three-week holiday on Thursday.

“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,” read the statement.

“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.”

All the teams can choose three weeks between now and the end of April to take their breaks.

Formula 1 is hoping to return to action either with May’s Monaco GP or June’s Azerbaijan race but at present those are hopes, not plans.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.