F1 News, Reports and Race Results

Leclerc and Sainz put in the 'productive' miles for Ferrari

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were certainly busy on Wednesday, completing a combined total of 133 laps of Bahrain International Circuit on the first of three days of official pre-season testing in Sakhir.

Leclerc was in the car in the morning and was quick to get started on the first of what proved to be 64 laps, first on the C2 and then with the softer C3, with a best time of 1:33.247s produced before the lunch time break.

He then handed the SF-24 over to Sainz, with the Spaniard duly completing 69 laps and recording a best time of 1:32.584s on the C3 compound before the chequered flag came out under the floodlights after the sun had set.

Ferrari said that the programme for both drivers had been virtually the same as they lapped with various fuel loads.

The focus was on taking measurements from aerodynamic rakes fitted to the car, allowing them to carry out an aero mapping of the car to check how well the track data correlated to digital modelling and the wind tunnel.

"Our first morning of testing was quite productive, especially in terms of mileage," Leclerc commented after the end of his stint in the cockpit.

"As for the performance, it’s just too early to comment or draw conclusions," he admitted, after finishing seventh fastest overall in the timesheets.

"We ran all the tests we planned to and things are going ahead as expected, which is a positive. We will continue working and hope to have two more useful days of testing ahead of the GP."

©Ferrari

Sainz benefitted from the warmer afternoon conditions and was third fastest, one tenth behind McLaren's Lando Norris but still 1.240s off the overall best time of the day laid down by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"It felt good to be back properly behind the wheel after the winter break," he said in the evening. "It’s been a positive first day of testing here in Bahrain with 373 km completed.

"We managed to go through the whole programme without issues, gathering some useful data to better understand the SF-24 together with the engineers.

"As usual with pre-season testing, it's too early to draw any conclusions yet," he added. "We'll keep maximising the upcoming two days of running to get ready for the start of the season next week."

Testing resumes at 8am GMT with Leclerc once again on the morning shift and Sainz waiting until after lunch to get hit his second serving of the SF-24.

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Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc

Andrew Lewin

Andrew first became a fan of Formula 1 during the time when Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill were stepping into the limelight after the era of Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Aryton Senna. He's been addicted ever since, and has been writing about the sport now for nearly a quarter of a century for a number of online news sites. He's also written professionally about GP2 (now Formula 2), GP3, IndyCar, World Rally Championship, MotoGP and NASCAR. In his other professional life, Andrew is a freelance writer, social media consultant, web developer/programmer, and digital specialist in the fields of accessibility, usability, IA, online communities and public sector procurement. He worked for many years in magazine production at Bauer Media, and for over a decade he was part of the digital media team at the UK government's communications department. Born and raised in Essex, Andrew currently lives and works in south-west London.

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