Carlos Sainz's 'F' day

The Madrid native makes his debut today at the wheel of a 2018 Ferrari in the private tests that the Scudería is conducting this week at the Fiorano circuit. Yesterday it was Leclerc's turn.


First weeks in red, first jobs at the factory, first hours in the simulator ... and today, first kilometers behind the wheel of a Ferrari for Carlos Sainz since his arrival in Maranello. A special day, there is no doubt, because of how emotional and romantic it is to drive a Formula 1 by the most legendary manufacturer for the first time, but also a key day for the interests of the Madrid native in the season that begins, in order to adapt as soon as possible possible to Scuderia procedures.

You will barely have a day and a half of pre-season testing in March before arriving at the Bahrain GP and it is essential to take advantage of all the minutes on the asphalt and avoid breakdowns that could delay this process.

The car will be a unit of the SF71H that Maranello built in 2018 and which won six races with Vettel (Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Great Britain and Belgium) and Raikkonen (United States). It is probably the Ferrari that was closest to Mercedes, although they were other times and also other engines. Nothing like last year's car, unable to fight for wins, and not like this season's SF21, with which they hope to get closer to the podium.

In Fiorano there are tests throughout the week: the young Armstrong, Shwartzman and Alesi began filming on Monday and yesterday Tuesday it was the turn of Charles Leclerc, who was getting back into an F1 after a winter vacation punctuated by the contagion of COVID- 19. The whole Wednesday is for Sainz and also Thursday morning, before giving way to Mick Schumacher (Haas driver, but at the Ferrari Academy) and tester Callum Ilott.

Sainz, 26, has been working in Italy for several weeks now. The seat was custom made for his cockpit at the end of December and since January he has participated in simulator sessions to get used to the details of Ferrari plus the communications from his work team and Riccardo Adami, who will be his race engineer.

It inherits for the most part the staff that was with Sebastian Vettel until 2020, a good group with triumphs behind them, but you have to engage as quickly as possible: the preseason, already with the 2021 car, will be in Bahrain from March 12-14. Just three days of work to be distributed between the two drivers, that is why it is so important to arrive with the homework done at the beginning of the championship. Get used to the pedals, the steering wheel controls, the radio messages or the driving differences with respect to the McLaren so that in Sakhir's training, in a month and a half, the exclusive concern is to extract performance from the car.

Yesterday it was Leclerc's turn

Despite the fact that until today he will not get in the car, Sainz has been present at the Fiorano circuit during the days of Monday (with Alesi, Armstrong and Shwartzman at the wheel) and yesterday (with Leclerc) for not lose detail of work. Ferrari's program with the Monegasque consisted of several runs, with breaks between them to analyze the data. In total, he completed more than 100 laps, Ferrarri reported. "The day was just perfect and we did all the work we had planned to do. I really enjoyed it! Now I pass the floor to Carlos and wish him good luck," said the Monegasque after finishing his training day.

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