Lewis Hamilton has described people who are ignoring advice on social distancing during the coronavirus crisis as "irresponsible and selfish".
The UK government advises against large gatherings and wants people to stay at least two metres away from others.
Hamilton, who has been self-isolating but shown no symptoms, said he was "so sad" about lives being lost.
"I'm praying for my family's safety each day but I'm also praying for you out there," said the world champion.
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The 35-year-old Briton added: "There are people out there still going to clubs and bars and large gatherings, which I feel is totally irresponsible and selfish.
"There is nothing we can do about it either way except try to isolate ourselves, stop ourselves from catching it and spreading it.
"I'm praying for those working at the local store, deliverers, doctors and nurses who put their own health at risk to help others and keep the countries running.
"Those are the heroes. Please stay safe, people."
The start of the Formula 1 season has been thrown into disarray as a result of the impact of coronavirus.
The first seven races have been postponed, with the Monaco Grand Prix, F1's most famous race, cancelled.
F1 and governing body the FIA say they "expect to begin the 2020 championship season as soon as it is safe to do so after May, and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing Covid-19 situation".