Wednesday the 27th of January will go down as a special day in the life of Carlos Sainz after his first appearance for Scuderia Ferrari.
After spells at Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren, Ferrari surely represents the best chance for the Spaniard to become a regular Grand Prix winner in the future; two podiums with McLaren and some strong performances with the Woking-based team opened up this opportunity for the 26-year-old to join the famous Italian team.
Just like Leclerc on Tuesday, Sainz drove the SF71-H today and logged over 100 laps as he familiarised himself with his new team, crew and race engineer, Riccardo Adami.
He'll also run tomorrow morning in Ferrari's 2018 challenger before handing over to Mick Schumacher in the afternoon.
In a press release, Ferrari said: "At 9.30 the shutters rolled up on the pit garage at the Fiorano track and a minute later Carlos Sainz was out for his first lap at the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car. Naturally enough, the 26-year-old from Madrid ran his usual F1 number 55 on the SF71H, the 2018 car, as he completed more than a hundred laps on his maiden outing with the Scuderia. Carlos worked with the engineers he had already met in several meetings held over the past weeks and also got to know the mechanics and the car procedures, many of which will also be relevant to this year’s SF21, which he and Charles Leclerc will drive for the first time at the pre-season test in Bahrain during the second week in March."
"A day I will never forget! This morning, the alarm went off at dawn because we had some very early meetings before going out on track. One of the most special moments for me today was when I arrived at the circuit and I saw the Ferrari with my number 55 on it! I was eager to jump in the car and that first installation lap was exciting.
"Then we got down to work and I am very pleased with how the day unfolded. We were able to get through an extensive programme and I was able to familiarise myself with the whole setup: the engineers and mechanics, the steering wheel, the procedures which are obviously a bit different to those on the car I drove last season.
‘'It was very nice to have my father there at such an important moment in my career. And I’d like to thank Mattia, Laurent and everyone at Ferrari for such a warm welcome and such a positive first day in the 2018 car. I am very happy and could not have wished for a better start."