Ferrari brings its intensive test programme to an end

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Scuderia Ferrari concluded its intensive five-day test programme that saw seven drivers complete huge mileages in the team’s 2018 F1 challenger at Fiorano.

Scuderia Ferrari brought its test week to and end today, with Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott getting the chance to driver the SF71H on the fifth and last day of the programme. The rare test running saw seven drivers take part in the practice: Robert Shwartzman, Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong drove the car on the opening day before Charles Leclerc took over the 2018 machine on Tuesday. Ferrari’s new Spanish driver, Carlos Sainz made his debut on Wednesday while Thursday saw the Spaniard and Mick Schumacher split the day into two halves.

Over the five days, the SF71H completed over 500 laps, equivalent to more than 1500 kilometres. The team said that the long test week was a useful experience for the drivers and also for the team, „enabling the crew to get back in the swing of racing, testing all the procedures for the coming season, which at least for the first part will be the same as last year’s, with personnel split into sub-groups and bubbles and having to wear masks as part of the Covid-19 protocols.”

Today saw Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott drive the SF71H around the Fiorano test track. The German rolled out of the garage shortly after 9.30 and completed just over fifty laps. Over the two days, the reigning FIA F2 champion completed a distance that is equivalent to the length of a Grand Prix. Scuderia’s newest addition to its Ferrari Driver Academy, Maya Weug, the first girl to join the programme, was also at the scene, watching proceedings from the pits.

Schumacher then handed his car over to Callum Ilott, who was his biggest rival in the FIA F2 championship last year. The Briton went out on to the Fiorano track at 13.21, notching up almost fifty laps. This was the youngster from Oxford’s second run in the 2018 car, after driving it last year on 30 September at the #RoadToF1 test.

Commenting on the test programme, Ferrari’s Sporting Director Laurent Mekies said: "Seven drivers on track over the five days, covering more than 1500 kilometres between them made for a really busy week for the team at Fiorano.

„The most important aspect of the test was to give the Scuderia official race drivers, Charles and Carlos, the opportunity to get back into the swing of driving again after the winter break. For the FDA guys it was another opportunity to experience driving a Formula 1 car. For Carlos and Marcus the test was also a “first”, as the Spaniard’s was making his debut with his new team and the New Zealander was experiencing a Formula 1 car for the first time.

„For Giuliano, the test represented a farewell gift, as his time with the FDA has come to an end. I think the best thing about the week was the atmosphere in the garage at our home track, with all the guys really happy to be back on track, to prepare as well as possible for the upcoming season," Mekies concluded.