Leclerc to become the first driver to test in 2020

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Charles Leclerc will become the first Formula One driver to test a race car in 2020 when he represents Ferrari in Pirelli’s 18-inch tyre test next week.

The sport’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli will continue to make preparation for the introduction of the 18-inch tyres next week when it trials the new product in association with Ferrari. The test will take place at the Jerez circuit on the 8th and 9th February. Charles Leclerc will sit behind the wheel of a mule Ferrari car on both days of the crucial running.

Throughout last year, the Milan-based company has conducted different runnings with the 18-inch tyres with different teams including Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari. The French team became the first outfit to have performed a test with Sergey Sirotkin who conducted several running with a modified car at the Paul RIcard test last September.

For 2020, mid-season testing has been wiped out completely for the first time. However, Pirelli will continue to work on the development of the 18-inch tyres. The company’s head of car racing has confirmed that all 10 Formula 1 teams will create a mule, modified car to be able to conduct testing with the new tyres.

After Pirelli will carry out an intensive progamme over the season to validate the 18-inch tyres, all teams will participate in the post-season three-day test that takes place after the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

However, Isola also confirmed that no tests are planned for race weekends after the tyre testing in last year’s United States Grand Prix did not bring the expected results.

"When they are focused on their race weekends, they have to set up the cars for the race weekend, sometimes they have to test new parts.There is track evolution in every race. If we also had [to do] a comparison of a new tyre compared to the baseline, it is too much for three hours testing,” Isola is quoted as saying be