Ferrari has given three leading members of its Driver Academy the chance to get a taste of what it's like to be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.
Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman all took to the track on Wednesday at its dedicated test track at Fiorano at the wheel of a 2018 Ferrari SF71H. It's part of the trio's preparation for their maiden free practice appearances at upcoming official Grand Prix weekends.
"They were all quick and immediately began running at a good pace," Ferrari Driver Academy technical chief Marco Matassa told Motorsport.com. "The laps they did today will be very useful when Mick and Callum run on Friday at the Nurburgring.”
“It’s not easy to switch from the driving style demanded from a Formula 2 car to one best suited to Formula 1," he added. “The car has much more power, a significantly more sophisticated braking system and power steering that requires sensitivity and precision to use properly."
Current Formula 2 championship leader Schumacher has already had two previous outings in contemporary F1 equipment, and is the second for Ilott, but it was all new for 2019 Formula 3 champion Shwartzman.
“It was very useful to get used to all the procedures again, which are pretty complex," said Schumacher, who will take the wheel of an Alfa Romeo next week. "I can’t wait to jump into the cockpit in Germany and it will be nice to take part in a practice session for the first time in front of my home crowd."
“What struck me about the SF71H was its aero efficiency, which means you have grip levels you just don’t find in other categories," said Ilot who will be testing with Haas. He described his test outing as an “unforgettable day”.
Shwartzman will have to wait until the final race of the season to jump into the Alfa Romeo for FP1.