Sainz: Testing 2018 Ferrari an 'option' to prepare for 2021

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Carlos Sainz says testing a 2018-spec Ferrari could prove a worthwhile option to prepare for his 2021 season with the Scuderia given the limited mileage drivers will enjoy in pre-season testing.

Formula 1 has cut back next year's winter program, with teams preparing for the 2021 season during a three-day test that will likely take place in Bahrain.

However, teams can run at will their 2018 machinery, the specifications of which are relatively close to this year's cars.

Renault recently took advantage of its 2018 equipment to allow Fernando Alonso to stretch his legs ahead of his return with the Enstone squad next season.

Sainz could request a similar test program from Ferrari to help him get acquainted with his new team.

"We will see, that's my answer at the moment," said Sainz. "Once I leave McLaren to be a Ferrari driver, there would be a lot of thinking behind the scenes to make sure I arrive to the test and to the first race as prepared as possible.

"Obviously that could be an option, but I remain committed to McLaren and I don't want to get distracted too much by what the future of January, February and March might bring."

With teams running a single car in pre-season testing split between their two drivers, Sainz understandably feels that such a schedule would leave him short on mileage when the field lines up in Melbourne in March.

"I can already tell you that one-day-and-a-half in an F1 car, these complex F1 cars, is not enough to prepare for an F1 season," he admitted.

"You don't get to know the tricks of the car, or the steering wheel, even though you do a lot of simulator. [You need] to get to know the crew, so one-day-and-a-half is very, very little and probably not enough.

"But it is what it is. We will have to adapt and we will need to find a way to make sure we are as prepared as possible within the limits [of the rules]."

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