It would be fair to say that Charles Leclerc was one of the ‘stars’ of testing, after stepping up to Ferrari for this season the eyes of the Formula 1 world are firmly fixed on the 21-year-old as he integrates into the team and, in Barcelona, he did not put a foot wrong.
Apart from lost time with a cooling issue on the first day of the second preseason test at Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday, it has been a flawless and impressive induction to the sport’s most famous team by the kid from Monaco.
On Thursday, his final testing stint in the car before he slides into the cockpit for FP1 in Melbourne, Leclerc ended the day quickest of all by over half a second, with 136 laps covered on a productive day for the SF90 which was wrecked on Wednesday with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel when a rim failed.
Speaking to reporters after his day in the car on Thursday evening, Leclerc summed up, “It didn’t look as though today would be easy, given that we had to make up for yesterday’s lost time, but, we got it done – and that was very positive – especially as it was my last day in the car before Australia.”
Leclerc will make his official Scuderia Ferrari debut in Melbourne at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 on 14-17 March.
“I am very happy because we worked really well,” Leclerc revealed. “It’s been an encouraging start to the season, and I feel about ready. Now, I can’t wait to take part in my first real Grand Prix with Ferrari.”
While revealing little, it is clear feels comfortable with the progress thus far, “The SF90 is solid, and the balance is good and consistent. That’s been the clear impression right from the first day, and it hasn’t changed.”
“I am getting more and more dialled into this car, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But up until now, I can say I’m satisfied,” added Leclerc who will this year be measured up against his four-time F1 World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel.