'We can't race': Coronavirus announcement sparks F1 fears for Ferrari

Formula One could not hold a world championship race in a country that denies access to any team due to coronavirus restrictions, motorsport managing director Ross Brawn says.

Italy, home to the sport's oldest, most glamorous and most successful team Ferrari, is one of the countries most affected by the epidemic with more than 50 deaths and over 2000 confirmed cases.

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Some countries, including Vietnam which hosts its first ever Grand Prix on April 5, have imposed quarantine periods on anyone who has come from or been in Italy during a two-week period prior to entry.

Australia joined the list of countries to place increased screening requirements on Italian travellers, which would cover Ferraris mechanics and support staff for the Australian GP.

That has raised concern in some quarters about Ferrari's ability to participate.

But those fears subsided on Thursday after the federal government confirmed it will introduce "enhanced screening" for travellers from Italy, rather than a ban.

Charles Leclerc's Scuderia Ferrari F1 team could face issues gaining entry to Australia amid the global coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Travellers from Italy will be asked mandatory questions at check-in and anyone who fails the checks will be denied approval to board an aircraft.

The majority of Ferrari's squad of mechanics and support staff will be arriving in Melbourne from Italy, with the company's famous headquarters based in Maranello.

"Those enhanced screening measures will be in place for those visitors who have been coming through Italy and indeed Australians who are coming back from Italy," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc, who live in Sweden and Monaco respectively, would likely avoid any screenings or travel bans.

"If a team is prevented from entering a country we can't have a race. Not a Formula One world championship race, anyway, because that would be unfair," Brawn told Reuters at a sponsorship signing with betting partner 188BET.

"Obviously if a team makes its own choice not to go to a race, that's their decision.

"But where a team is prevented from going to a race because of a decision of the country then it's difficult to have a fair competition."

The Formula One season starts in Melbourne on March 15, with Bahrain the weekend after.

Coronavirus already disrupting F1 season

The Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for Shanghai on April 19 has already been called off as a result of the virus.

MotoGP cancelled its opening round in Qatar this weekend after the Gulf state imposed quarantine on visitors arriving from Italy.

Brawn said Formula One was negotiating with the Vietnamese health authorities.

Brawn said the Australian authorities were happy to continue with their race and Formula One was cooperating on checks and measures.

"It's a very serious situation, so I don't want to underplay it. But we're trying to have races. We've got to do them in a responsible way," he added.

"We're minimising the number of people in the paddock, we're asking the teams to send a minimum number of people they need to a race," he explained.

There are also plans for a charter to take Formula One's Italian contingent directly from Melbourne to Bahrain, without anyone leaving the plane during any refuelling stopover, and with screening on arrival.