Ferrari’s F1 Team Boss Mattia Binotto is a man with 1 of the biggest jobs in motorsport, here he discusses the impact of the coronavirus on The Scuderia
Italy, home of Ferrari (NYSE:RACE), has taken dramatic measures to control the spread of coronavirus across the country and this has an impact on the way Ferrari is operating.
The Scuderia put a number of measures in place to protect its employees, the latest of which involved them halting production in their F1 facility on Monday, and Boss Binotto admits that is impacting their development program.
“The health of our employees is important. It’s our Top priority,” says Boss Binotto. “We managed to go to Melbourne, even though it wasn’t easy for us to be there as we had to change our plan on the flights as well. But more than that is what is happening in Italy, which we are concerned [about]. We express our solidarity to all our people here.
“There are a lot of restrictions which have been applied to minimise risks of contagion and that is affecting our development capacity. Now everything is obviously pending. Before the shutdown, we tried to recalibrate the development programs on the basis of various calendar hypotheses but, obviously, we must wait for the evolution of the spread of coronavirus in the world and its effects on the resumption of activities.
“Only when we have a more precise picture will we be able to understand what we will be able to bring to the track in the first Grand Prix of the season. We have to understand how the situation will develop but we hope that we can go back to running as soon as possible, once the conditions are right. For our part, we are ready to support F1 and the FIA in this delicate phase.”
The teams’ development programs are halted now anyway, following the news the shutdown has been brought forward from its traditional Summer spot to the Spring, after a proposal Binotto says Ferrari made on returning from Melbourne.
“There is a need for serenity now, to be together with our families and to recharge the batteries,” says Boss Binotto. “These 3 weeks of shutdown – an anticipation of the summer break – will serve to fill up your energy and then to push hard in the following months, when we will have 2 challenges to face at the same time, that of 2020 and that of the 2021 project.”
Next year is a new era for F1 with new sporting, technical and financial regulations. But given the current situation regarding coronavirus, there will be a discussion among F1, the FIA and the teams Thursday as to whether to postpone the project by a year.
“We will have a conference call with all the other teams, F1 and FIA to discuss the situation and the impact it has not only on this season but also on the next one,” he said. “We must carefully evaluate every aspect and see if it is not really the case to think about possibly postponing the introduction of the new 2021 technical rules. In any case, Ferrari is ready to take responsibility for a choice that must be made in the ultimate interest of this sport, it is certainly not the time for selfishness and tactics.“
Ferrari finished at 139.86, or +2.86 Friday in NY, and shares were raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, and I have called it at it at 200+/share long term, adjusting it to 200/share short term (after the virus) and siding with BAML to 230 long term for now.
Have a healthy weekend, stay home