Charles Leclerc started his chapter at Ferrari in the best manner possible, topping the timesheets at the end of his first full day in SF90 on day two of Formula 1 testing at Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
Apart from topping the timing screens for most of the day, the 21-year-old also completed a total of 157 laps; 73 in the morning, a further 84 in the afternoon.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the day, Leclerc said, “I am very happy with the way today went. Despite some red flag interruptions, we were able to get through all our programme and to do 157 laps, which has produced a lot of useful data.”
“In terms of feeling, I quickly felt comfortable with the SF90 and I have to say I really enjoyed myself. Emotion? There’s always going to be some when you get into a Ferrari, but today I put that to one side because I had a job to do for the team.”
Ferrari tend to start the season with a bang while Mercedes tend to keep their powder dry, as they did last year, while World Champions Mercedes tend to keep their powder dry early on. The game plan seems to be the same as always as the Reds strut their stuff the Silver Arrows bide their time.
Nevertheless, Leclerc was upbeat after a faultless day in the cockpit, “Let’s hope we keep going like this over the next few days because it’s important to make the most of the few on-track testing opportunities we have.”
Leclerc is the youngest Ferrari F1 driver since 19-year-old Mexican Ricardo Rodriguez raced for the team in 1981.
This first pre-season test continues at the Barcelona circuit until Thursday. Tomorrow, Sebastian Vettel will be once again behind the wheel of the SF90, before handing back to Leclerc for the final day.
Next week the Spanish track hosts the final four days of testing before the Formula 1 season gets underway in Australia on 17 March.