Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has said it is the sport’s obligation to try make people smile as the world continues to tackle the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
But the Scuderia’s homeland has been one of the worst affected areas and has the highest number of confirmed infections outside of China.
Initial quarantine rules means that up to 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 provinces need special permission to travel but, on Monday night, the Italian government implemented a nationwide lockdown which will affect a population of £60million.
Ferrari, AlphaTauri and Pirelli are all having to overcome major obstacles in order to keep the Formula 1 show on the road, while other teams are also facing big logistical challenges getting their precious cargo to and from each event.
With the Australian Grand Prix getting the go ahead, Binotto wants to entertain the fans as the world continues to battle the virus.
“After a long winter working on building and developing our car, the time has come to get a first indication of our performance level and how effective are the improvements we have introduced over the past few months,” Binotto said in Ferrari’s Australia preview.
“We know that the opposition is strong, but we also know that it is the start of a long season where development rate, reliability, and our operational effectiveness will be key.
“We are gearing up to tackle all these challenges as a united team, conscious of the progress that needs to be made and proud of the support of our fans worldwide.
“At what is a difficult time for Italy and the world as a whole, as part of a global sport, it is our obligation to try and put a smile on people’s faces as they prepare to watch the first race of the season with the same sense of anticipation as ourselves.”