Carlos Sainz remained tight-lipped on Friday when asked to confirm the rumors of a crash suffered by the Spaniard during Pirelli's 18-inch tyre test with Ferrari at Jerez earlier this week.
Both Sainz and Scuderia teammate Charles Leclerc were in action at the Spanish track from Monday to Wednesday as Pirelli started its 2021 development program for its 18-inch tyres that will be introduced next season in F1.
The test was conducted using a Ferrari 2019-spec mule car that completed 300 laps of Jerez, but news filtered out during the test that Sainz had crashed at one point.
During Ferrari's team launch on Friday, Sainz was queried on the suspected mishap but refused to confirm or deny its occurrence.
"Obviously Pirelli testing is completely private," Sainz said.
"So honestly, answering questions that are coming from somewhere else is difficult for me. I don't know how much we can tell contractually about what happened in the test.
"But if something happened that I'm not going to tell you, it was very minor."
Addressing the test itself and offering his assessment of F1's future 18-inch tyres, Sainz says he came away from the running at Jerez with a "positive first impression".
"You can definitely start to feel some differences and there's definitely some things still to keep developing, but the first signs and the first feeling has been relatively positive," Sainz said.
"We need to wait until you fit those tyres into the next year's car, which is going to be quite a completely different animal. But the first impressions with a mule car has been positive."
Our 2022 #Fit4F1 @F1 18-inch tyre development test at @circuitodejerez finished today with 125 laps completed by @carlossainz55 for @scuderiaferrari on slick, intermediate and wet tyres. #F1 pic.twitter.com/xVTujc4FZE
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) February 24, 2021
Leclerc was also positive on Pirelli's new product, but underscored the development work that remained to be done this year.
"We tried different things and to be honest, there are some positive things that came out of it. So, this is good," said the Monegasque.
"I believe that there's still quite a bit of work, but it went in the right direction and this is a good thing."