Ferrari drivers happy with 'wake up call' run at Fiorano


Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz returned to action this week with Ferrari, the pair kicking off in earnest their preparations for 2022 with a full day of running at Fiorano.

The Scuderia had initially programmed a four-day test using its 2021 car but a confusion over Formula 1's sporting regulations forced the team to dust off and roll out its 2018-spec SF71H and reduce its schedule to three days.

Amid cold conditions at Fiorano, test driver Robert Shartzman was entrusted on Wednesday with the opening day of running with Sainz taking over on Thursday morning and completing a trouble-free 59 laps.


"At the moment, like all the other drivers in fact, we are working in the simulator or training really hard in the gym," commented Sainz.

"However, when it comes to demands placed on the body, nothing can match actually being in the car.

"That’s why, being able to drive before the start of the season, no matter in what car, is always very useful for a driver. It gives your body a wake-up call, reminding you what it means to be a Formula 1 driver."

Leclerc took over from the Spaniard in the afternoon to rake up 48 laps - or 143 kilometres - onboard Ferrari's SF71H.

"After a month and a half without sitting in the cockpit, I was really keen to drive again," said the Monegasque. "

"It was great fun and also useful training. I can’t wait to be back on track in Barcelona with the 2022 car to really start this new Formula 1 era and see if all the work we have done since last year will pay off in terms of the competitiveness we expect."


In between runs, Sainz and Leclerc ventured over to an area where a group of tifosi had braved the cold weather and assembled to watch the day's proceedings to salute the fans and hand out signed caps.

"Our supporters are special," said Leclerc. "It’s really cold today, but they didn’t want to miss out on this first event of the new season.

"At least I had the engine to keep me warm, but they are really fantastic!"

Shartzman was due to be back in action on Friday for the Scuderia's final day of testing.

Ferrari will unveil its all-new 2022 car, which has yet to be named, on February 17.

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