Scuderia Ferrari has announced that it would organize a five-day, seven-driver test at Fiorano in order to help its current F1 drivers and junior drivers in their preparation for the 2021 season.
It is quite rare nowadays that an F1 team arranges private testing as on track actions with current cars are – apart from older machineries – are banned. Running with cars that are at least two years old is permitted, but that is usually less relevant given how technology evolves in modern days.
However, testing with older machines was revived last year when the sport was preparing itself for a restart following the coronavirus-induced shutdown period. Ferrari is now surprisingly organizing a private test again for its new driver line-up that will be formed by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in 2021 and for five members of its Ferrari Driver Academy.
The team is set to conquer its own Fiorano test track that is located just a few metres from its factory and museum, using its 2018 F1 car, the SF71H that was in action last year when Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were preparing for the post-lockdown season start up.
The test is poised to start on Monday and end on Friday with pleasant weather predicted with no rain and lots of sunshine. On Monday, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman will share the SF71H. The French driver will make his debut over 30 years after his father first drove the F1-90 at Fiorano.
The New-Zealander will become the second driver from New-Zealand to drive a Ferrari F1 car after Chris Amon who raced for the Scuderia from 1967 to 1969. The Russian has already driven the car on 30 September during the RoadToF1 test and also drove for the Maranello-based team during the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test.
On Tuesday 26, Charles Leclerc will be behind the wheel of the SF71H. His new team mate Carlos Sainz will be at the wheel of a Ferrari for the very first time on Wednesday 27 and the morning of Thursday. The Monaco- and the Madrid-born driver make up the team’s youngest pairing since 1968 when Chris Amon and Jacky Ickx raced for Ferrari.
The test will be brought to an end by Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott. Schumacher will drive on January 28 and the morning of the 29th, while Ilott ends the five-day test with a stint on Friday afternoon. That pair tested the 2018 Ferrari alongside Shwartzman at Fiorano in September 2020.