F1 | Sainz Feels He's "Unprepared" And "Not Ready" For First Race With Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari's Carlos Sainz says he doesn't feel prepared for the season's first race after the first day of pre-season practice.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari Project Winnow both drove the SF21 on the first day of the only 2021 pre-season test, which runs until Sunday. The pair completed 115 laps (622,4 km) in total, with the Monegasque completing 58 in the morning and the Spaniard completing 57 in the afternoon.Prior to testing in Bahrain, the Spaniard had already driven a Ferrari in Fiorano and had joined the Italian team from McLaren for the 2021 season.
Team Ferrari commented this morning, "At 10 on the dot, Charles dove out of the pits onto the Sakhir track for a short first run with the car fitted with a rake, which helps gather data for the engineers on how the car is behaving,”
To add, "Then, after a quick check, Leclerc was back on track for some longer runs with the C2 compound, doing several laps in consistent conditions. He drove from 10 up to just before 2 pm, also running the C3 compound. However with ten minutes remaining, he was instructed by the team to park the car at the side of the track because of an anomaly with the combustion spotted on the telemetry.”
Scuderia Ferrari will follow a similar schedule on Day 2 as it did today. This time, Sainz will take the lead for the first half of the day and Charles will take over for the second.
Post day one testing Leclerc comments,"The first day in a new car is always very interesting, after all the work carried out over the winter. We completed the whole programme without any major problems and the first impression of the car is pretty good. But obviously, it’s far too early to give a full assessment. Now I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again tomorrow!"
Despite this, he does not think he is prepared for the upcoming season.
Sainz comments after the session, "I feel prepared for testing, definitely. Prepared for race one? Not at all"
He continues, "Compared to the knowledge I had of the McLaren to set it up to my liking and exactly how to drive it under wind conditions, new tyres… How to change the front wing, the switches, I have no idea yet about the Ferrari. So very unprepared for race one, but at least we’re testing. I feel like I arrived as prepared as I could and I actually had a decent start. [I need to] keep improving my understanding, going through different compounds, fuel loads, different conditions because the wind changes the balance of the car massively and today was pretty windy out there. Everything. I need to just test all the windows of the car, all the windows of performance of the car, just to have a clue what to expect in race one.”
Charles Leclerc, Sainz's new teammate, was behind the wheel of the SF21 for the Friday morning session in Bahrain and got off to a good start, putting in a number of laps.
With just 10 minutes remaining, he pulled over to the side of the lane, resulting in the first Red Flag of 2021.
It wasn't clear what the issue was at the time, but the team has since confirmed that after seeing something in the data, they told him to park the car as a precaution.