The challenge for Ferrari is aggregated due to the Maranello factory lockdown due to Italy’s coronavirus concerns.
Scuderia Ferrari’s have suspended their F1 production at their factory in Maranello until March 27 at least. They cited the coronavirus pandemic in Italy as a reason for doing so. With Red Bull and other teams still operating, this time off with factory shut will cost Ferrari greatly.
- Ferrari Shuts Down Maranello Factory Due to Coronavirus Concerns in Italy
- Ferrari at Risk of Falling Behind in Constructor’s Championship
- Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc Likely to be Unhappy
Not only is Ferrari the most experienced constructor, but it has also won the greatest number of constructor’s championships (16). With so many years of experience, Ferrari is likely to bounce back despite the reduction in days at the factory.
Ferrari, having been the most successful constructor in Formula 1, would want to get their way back to the top after not having won the Constructor’s Championship in over 10 years.
Ferrari’s Maranello Factory Under Lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic has already put F1’s 2020 schedule in jeopardy. After the McLaren team pulled out of the event following one of their team members being affected by the virus, the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled.
Shortly after the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled, the authorities also decided that Bahrain and the Vietnamese Grand Prix shall be postponed.
Shortly after news of these races either being cancelled or postponed came out, there was also news of Ferrari suspending their production at Maranello. Ferrari’s decision to do this was to protect their employees from the already widespread coronavirus in Italy.
Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri said, “It is out of our respect for them, their peace of mind and of their families that we have decided on this course of action.” This reaction came because Italy has been worst hit by the virus in Europe with over 1,400 deaths already.
Factory Lockdown May Cost Ferrari in Constructor’s Championship
It seems evident that a loss of few days at the factory would cost Ferrari dearly. They would lose days to test out the changes they make to the car when compared to other teams like Mercedes, who are still operating on their UK bases.
Things could not get worse for Ferrari after they already had poor pre-season testing. On the other hand, Mercedes had excellent pre-season testing, and this extra time will only help them to improve.
Although Red Bull Racing was decently behind when compared to Ferrari in the Constructor’s standings, they too could close the gap following Ferrari’s production shut down. Ferrari finished last year in 2nd with 504 points as compared to Red Bull’s 417. The addition of hot prospect Alexander Albon will help their chances.
Possible Impact on Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc
If the reports are to be believed and if it is indeed Vettel’s last season with Ferrari, he definitely will not be happy about Ferrari stopping their production. Ferrari has not yet renewed Vettel’s contract. Despite that, Vettel still insists that he wants to win with Ferrari. If that is the case, Ferrari’s stop in production will not help his cause.
Similarly, after Charles Leclerc’s impressive performances in his debut season with Ferrari, he would be aiming for a better season. After finishing 4th in the Driver’s standings last season, he would aim to take the fight to the Mercedes and the Red Bulls.
Ferrari’s poor pre-season testing and lockdown of the factory seem to have certainly handed the title to Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport. The question is whether Leclerc and Vettel can help Ferrari to maintain its advantage over Red Bull.
For Ferrari’s sake, they would hope that their factory production resumes as soon as possible since Red Bull is speeding up R&D to leverage the opportunity.