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Coronavirus: Ferrari Formula 1 team goes into self-isolation as a precaution

The Ferrari Formula 1 team have all gone into self-isolation since their return from the Australian Grand Prix – some in hotels paid for by the company.

The move is a precaution – no member of the team have so far had any symptoms of the coronavirus, Ferrari said.

Ferrari offered to put up in hotels anyone who could not return home because of their personal situation.

This could include having older family members in the house, or children, or a pregnant wife, for example.

Ferrari F1 team members who travelled to Melbourne are to be in quarantine for 14 days from the time they left the paddock in Albert Park.

It is not clear when Ferrari’s F1 team will return to work, not least because the company’s factories are shut down until 27 March, with no information as to the policy the company will pursue after that date.

The company made the decision to stop production in both its road-car and F1 factories in Modena and Maranello because of the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

Meanwhile, the Agnelli family who control Fiat and Ferrari have donated 10m euros to help the fight against the coronavirus in Italy.

The money has gone to the Civil Protection Department to deal with the emergency at a national level, and the Agnellis are also buying 150 ventilators from outside Italy to treat people suffering serious symptoms, as well as supplying a fleet of cars to distribute food and medicine to patients, the elderly and other people in need of assistance across Italy.

What’s the latest with F1?

The start of the F1 season has had to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus.

So far, one employee from McLaren and one from tyre supplier Pirelli have tested positive for coronavirus, and 14 further McLaren team members are in self-isolation in Melbourne because of their close contact with the infected person.

The first four Grands Prix in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been called off and F1 is now preparing to confirm the postponement of the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix, the three races scheduled for May, in the coming days, although talks are still ongoing on the matter.

The sport is also poised to abandon its usual summer break and move it forward to the period up to the end of April, with teams choosing when in that time to shut down their factories.

And the sport’s bosses are working on a new calendar into which they hope to shoehorn as many of the original record 22 races as possible.

The tentative plan is to start the season with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 7 June, but that may not be realistic given the extent of the coronavirus outbreak and the effect it is having in countries across the world.

F1 rules dictate a minimum of eight races must be held for a season to be defined as a World Championship.

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