Sainz hails ‘special moment’ as he completes ‘extensive’ debut test with Ferrari
Joining Ferrari is a special moment in the career of any Formula 1 driver – while the first laps of the Scuderia’s iconic Fiorano test track are a particular rite of passage. Carlos Sainz was the latest driver to experience the thrill of getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari F1 machine – and according to the Spaniard, it didn’t disappoint.
On his debut outing for the Scuderia since being signed for the team last May, Sainz took to the 2.997km Fiorano circuit in a 2018-spec Ferrari SF71H, allowing him to get up to speed with Ferrari’s systems ahead of pre-season testing, which will see both him and new team mate Charles Leclerc test the new SF21 for just a day and a half each.
But for Sainz, serious running only started after getting over the thrill of seeing his race number emblazoned on a Ferrari for the first time...
“A day I will never forget!” said Sainz afterwards. “One of the most special moments for me today was when I arrived at the circuit and I saw the Ferrari with my number 55 on it. I was eager to jump in the car and that first installation lap was exciting.
“Then we got down to work and I am very pleased with how the day unfolded. We were able to get through an extensive programme and I was able to familiarise myself with the whole set up: the engineers and mechanics, the steering wheel, the procedures which are obviously a bit different to those on the car I drove last season.
“I am very happy and could not have wished for a better start.”
Sainz will be back in the SF71H again on Thursday morning, before he hands over the car to Mick Schumacher, who’ll spend Thursday afternoon and Friday morning lapping Fiorano as he prepares for his F1 debut with Haas in 2021.
Callum Ilott will round out Ferrari’s five-day test, meanwhile, which also featured Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, as well as Leclerc himself, who completed over 100 laps on Tuesday, before carrying out a seat fit at Ferrari’s Vehicle Assembly department on Wednesday.
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