‘I needed to get that physical impression of speed’ says Leclerc after Mugello test
Charles Leclerc says it was a relief to once again get the "physical impression of speed" that only comes from driving a Formala 1 car, after he got back in the cockpit for a private test on Tuesday.
The Ferrari driver did get behind the wheel last week for a demonstration run in the new SF1000 when he took the 2020 challenger for a spin around the streets of Maranello surrounding the Ferrari factory.
But on Tuesday he was back on a race track in an F1 car for the first time since winter testing in February, when Ferrari ran their 2018-spec SF71H car at Mugello.
Both Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel drove the car on the Italian track as they looked to get back up to speed ahead of the first race of the delayed 2020 F1 season next month.
After the day's running, Leclerc said he had been missing the feeling of hitting the speeds possible in an F1 car.
"How great was that, getting back on track for real," he said. "I’d missed it! 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!"
Leclerc's team mate Sebastian Vettel also got behind the wheel, and enjoyed his run at Mugello so much he said afterwards the circuit deserves a spot on the F1 calendar.
“I was glad to get back in the cockpit after a break that was even longer than the usual winter one. I was also very pleased to see all the guys from the team at last," he said.
"It was great to once again get those feelings from a car and to do so at such a spectacular track. 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.”