Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc turned his first Formula 1 laps of 2021 at the Fiorano test track on Tuesday, ahead of new teammate Carlos Sainz getting his maiden run on Wednesday. Forty-four days since he completed the final race of the shortened 2020 F1 season in Abu Dhabi, Charles drove a 2018-spec SF71H for over 100 laps and practiced starts among his pre-season test programme.
“Getting back in the car today was great, in fact it was brilliant!” said Leclerc, who enters his third season with Ferrari on the back of a disappointing season that featured only two podium finishes at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone. Seeing my mechanics again, putting the race suit on, doing my warm-up routine, putting on my helmet and finally jumping in the car and pressing the starter button… the sound of a Ferrari engine is always magic. The day was simply perfect and we got through all the work we had planned to do. I really enjoyed myself! Now I hand over to Carlos and I wish him the best of luck for tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz was on hand to watch from the pits, ahead of his test tomorrow in which he’ll run in the morning before handing over to Haas F1 signing Mick Schumacher for the afternoon. Mick will drive the car again on Friday morning, while test driver Callum Ilott will then take over in the afternoon.