Almost seven weeks after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc got back behind the wheel of a Formula One car today at Ferrari's test track in Fiorano.
The initial plan for the Italian team was to run in the SF21, but confusion over the rules forced them to change to the SF71H, driven by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen in 2018.
Carlos Sainz took to the track in the morning following an impressive debut season with the team in 2021. The Spaniard completed 59 laps.
“Exactly one year ago, I drove a Ferrari for the first time,” said Sainz.
“And I have to say that, even if a lot of things have changed, given that I now know everyone and I feel really at home, driving here is always special. I was very happy to see so many of our fans watching from outside the track, which is why I wanted to go and say hello to them when I’d finished my session.”
As the 20 drivers train and prepare themselves for the 2022 season, Sainz was happy to do some testing to get his body ready for the forces to come in the car in testing and the season itself.
“At the moment, like all the other drivers in fact, we are working in the simulator or training really hard in the gym. However, when it comes to demands placed on the body, nothing can match actually being in the car. That’s why, being able to drive before the start of the season, no matter in what car, is always very useful for a driver. It gives your body a wake-up call, reminding you what it means to be a Formula 1 driver.”
2-time Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc took over in the afternoon and logged 48 laps in the car as he hopes to get back to winning ways in 2022, on the back of a very disappointing 2020 and 2021 for the Maranello squad.
“Our supporters are special,” he said.
“It’s really cold today, but they didn’t want to miss out on this first event of the new season. At least I had the engine to keep me warm, but they are really fantastic!”
Like his teammate, Leclerc was happy to be driving again after a while out of the cockpit.
“After a month and a half without sitting in the cockpit, I was really keen to drive again. It was great fun and also useful training. I can’t wait to be back on track in Barcelona with the 2022 car to really start this new Formula 1 era and see if all the work we have done since last year will pay off in terms of the competitiveness we expect.”