Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were both on duty for Ferrari as they carried out a test day at Mugello using the 2018 car.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were formally back on duty on Tuesday, as Ferrari headed to Mugello for a testing day with the 2018 SF71H.
Almost four months on from pre-season testing in Barcelona, Vettel & Leclerc climbed back into an F1 car to properly trash around the Italian circuit. The test allowed them to sharpen up again, and also allowed Ferrari to become comfortable with new anti COVID-19 protocols.
Vettel drove during the morning, covering a Grand Prix distance during the morning – Ferrari say he has never had the opportunity to drive the track in a red car before, having last driven at the track in 2012 with Red Bull Racing.
Charles Leclerc took over in the afternoon, having driven the 2020 SF1000 through the streets of Maranello last week. It was also his second time at Mugello, as he raced there in 2014 in his first season of single-seater racing. He also completed a Grand Prix distance.
“I was glad to get back in the cockpit after a break that was even longer than the usual winter one.” said Vettel afterwards, who is going into his final season with Ferrari. “I was also very pleased to see all the guys from the team at last.”
“It was great to once again get those feelings from a car and to do so at such a spectacular track.” Addressing the recent rumours that Mugello is trying to get a Grand Prix this season with such a disrupted schedule, Vettel said: “I really think Mugello deserves to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix.”
“I hadn’t driven it for eight years, so it took a few laps for me to get used to the track and then I really enjoyed myself.”
Leclerc said that despite all his off-season virtual racing, he needed to experience real speed again to acclimatise ahead of next week’s Austrian Grand Prix.
“How great was that, getting back on track for real. I’d missed it!” the Ferrari driver said. “Even though I’ve been pretty busy with virtual racing during this long break, I needed to once again get that physical impression of speed.”
“Being able to drive on such a spectacular track as Mugello, for the first time at the wheel of a Formula 1 car, helped to make this day even more memorable. Now, we’re looking ahead to the season and as from next week, things get serious!”