Ferrari hoping to "put smile on faces" again in Australia after COVID-19 drama

09-03-2020 18:05
by Matt Gretton
General
Ferrari hoping to put smile on faces again in Australia after COVID-19 drama

Formula 1 action is set to return this weekend as the 2020 season gets underway in Australia. The build-up to the new term has been plagued by the threat of Coronavirus as each of the first four Grands Prix scheduled have had doubts. The Chinese Grand Prix has already been postponed. 

One of the worse hit areas is Italy. The Ferrari team, as well as AlphaTauri who also reside in Italy, have been granted permission to travel to Melbourne despite much of the country being locked down. This has caused trouble for Italian citizens. 

But at the weekend, Mattia Binotto hopes he, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc can lift the Italian spirits by getting a Ferrari car onto the top step of the podium. 

"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," Binotto said. 

Long Winter

Flashback 12 months and Ferrari headed to Australia with bags of confidence. But it turned to be Mercedes who had the bags during the winter testing, as in Melbourne Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas dominated. 

This year though, Ferrari didn't perform strongly in Barcelona. Binotto is looking forward to finding out how competitive the car is after a winter full of hard work in the factory. 

"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," he added. 

"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."

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