Ferrari will return to on-track action on Tuesday to conduct a private test at its own Mugello race circuit to help Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc shake off the rust.
Following Formula One’s announcement about the start of the revised 2020 calendar, teams have started to intensify their preparation process for this year’s delayed championship. Mercedes has become the first team to hit the race track since the last day of pre-season testing that took place at Barcelona at the end of February.
In recent days, Renault conducted a test at the Red Bull Ring with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon behind the wheel while Racing Point held a one-day test session at Silverstone. The team that is set to be rebranded as Aston Martin next year was the first team to use its current car during the important runs.
Although it has been long rumoured that Ferrari was also planning a private test before the action starts at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, the Scuderia has refused to confirm the exact date of its on-track work. However, Ferrari has now communicated that it will return to the track on Tuesday.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc „are finally back in the office tomorrow for some testing at MugelloCircuit. We just can’t wait to see them behind the wheel of our SF71H,” Ferrari communicated via a Twitter post.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel will drive Ferrari’s 2018-spec SF71H at Mugello which will be their first time behind an F1 car on a purpose-built track since Barcelona pre-season testing concluded at the end of February.
While Mercedes held a two-day test programme, giving both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas a separate day, their Italian rivals will congest the entire work into one single day. The Scuderia not only wants to give time to its drivers to get up to speed following the coronavirus-induced shutdown, but it also intends to practice the protocols that will be put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Although Ferrari won’t be able to assess the limits of its 2020 car, the SF1000 tomorrow, the fact that it will conduct the test with a two-year-old car will enable it to complete unlimited mileage.
Ferrari’s preparation for the delayed season has raised eyebrows last week when Leclerc drove the Scuderia’s 2020 car around the streets of Maranello. As Ferrari have already used up their two filming days, the Monegasque was only allowed to cover a total of 15kms as part of a demonstration run ahead of its anticipated pre-Austria test.
The rebranded AlphaTauri outfit is expected to hit the track at Misano with its race drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly on Wednesday. The Faenza-based team will use its current car, the AT01 on the last test day before the action commences at Spielberg.