Ferrari drivers played down a very positive first day of Formula 1 preseason testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing second and third on the final timesheets.
Only McLaren’s Lando Norris was better than the two Ferrari drivers on a day that began with Leclerc taking the F1-75 out on track for its debut in an official session.
The Monegasque completed 80 laps, running the C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres, getting through the planned pre-lunch break programme. Charles’ best time of 1:20.165s was set on C3 tyres.
Sainz took over driving duties in the afternoon. The Spaniard completed 73 laps (341 km), also using the Pirelli C2, C3 and C4 compounds. His best time was a 1:20.416s set on C3 tyres. Therefore, the F1-75 completed a total of 153 laps, equivalent to more than 711 kilometres, most of all the cars on track.
Leclerc: We did more laps than any other team and that’s a positive we will build on
At the end of the day the team reported, Leclerc reported: “The first day of testing is behind us. This is always a really exciting moment at the start of each season. It was the first time that we could really push in our new car and it felt really good to be back behind the wheel.
“We completed all the tests we wanted to and ran through our full programme smoothly, which is good for a new car. I’m looking forward to being back on track again tomorrow.
“The initial feeling is not bad, but we shouldn’t get carried away by the timesheets today, as these are early days and everyone is still hiding their true form. It’s impossible to have a clear picture just yet, so we have to stay focused and keep working hard.
“We put in a lot of laps, more than any other team today, and that’s a positive we will build on,” added Leclerc.
Sainz: We still have a lot of work to do
The Spaniard added: “Today was the first time I was in the car with a proper run plan, unlike the previous times when we basically did shakedowns. We could finally push a bit and start learning from these cars.
“The timesheet is unimportant at this early stage, but it was very positive to put in a good number of laps and get a real feel at the wheel.
“We still have a lot of work to do but today we could already start feeling some differences from last year, although in terms of getting used to it I don’t feel it’s going to take too long. For sure the last tenths will be tricky to find, but that is the interesting part!
“Anyway, that’s not the aim here in Barcelona as we still have more testing ahead of the first race. A good first day and I’m looking forward to Thursday, concluded Carlos Sainz.