Ferrari has decided to shut down its Formula 1 base in Maranello from Thursday in a concerted effort to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
Outside China, Italy has been the country that has suffered the most at the hands of COVID-19, with nearly 36,000 cases now confirmed, resulting in almost 3,000 deaths.
With the FIA announcing on Wednesday a decision to bring forward the August summer break to the end of March through April, Ferrari has wasted no time in opting to close its doors.
In a statement, the team said: "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."
Concluding its message defiantly, Ferrari added: "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."
Two other teams in Red Bull and Alfa Romeo have also confirmed their shut down dates of March 27 and 23 respectively.
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