Ferrari's Leclerc hails 'fantastic experience'

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc put 98 laps on the first day of in-season testing in Budapest, but his ultimate run was undoubtedly the most impressive.

The 19-year-old 's final effort of the day behind the wheel of Ferrari's SF70H yielded the fastest lap, a feat achieved no less on soft tyres!

From the outside, Leclerc looked fast at the outset, but inside, the excitement may have even been greater.

"Driving a Ferrari is never a ‘normal’ experience,” commented the 19 year old Monegasque driver.

" I felt as though I was driving a race car for the very first time. It’s a great honour I have been accorded and I thank Ferrari with all my heart for this opportunity.

"I am pleased with the work I did and I hope the team is too. Driving the SF70H was a fantastic feeling and coming from F2, it’s a whole other world, from every point of view.

"It was the first time that I’ve driven a Formula 1 car with the wider tyres and this level of aerodynamic downforce and it was an incredible feeling.

"I also learned a lot from the work in the garage: Ferrari has the best engineers in the world and I felt very comfortable working with them.

"To set the fastest time is nice, but, in testing, its importance is only relative. I can now go on holiday in a happy mood, before concentrating on the second part of the F2 season.

"For the moment, Formula 1 is just a dream. I still have work to do and I know that: one step at a time."

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will be in action tomorrow for Day 2 of the Budapest test.

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