C orona has the Formula 1 world for four Months under control. The winter test drives at the end of February seem like an eternity ago. But slowly it is getting louder again in the premier class. After Mercedes (Silverstone) and Renault (Spielberg), Ferrari also started grooving itself for the new season on Tuesday (23.6.).
116 days after the last appearance in Barcelona, the Scuderia moved in again for the first time full of manpower. In order to get the task force into racing mode in time for the start of the season in Spielberg, they went to the Mugello Circuit for a test day. The traditional route is - like Fiorano - owned by the Italian car maker.
Ferrari test in the SF71H from 2018
But there is a second reason why Ferrari opted for the excursion decided to go to Tuscany. Mugello is on the list of possible candidates for an extension of the European season in September. It would certainly not hurt to collect some data early on, which will then flow into the preparation of the setup work.
How usable the findings of the test day are, however, is difficult to say. As required by the strict test rules, Ferrari - like Mercedes and Renault last week - had to use a two-year-old car with special Pirelli tires. The current racing car stayed in the factory in Maranello.
Incidentally, Red Bull would also have liked to complete such a preparatory test with a 2018 racing car. Because the engine partner of the Verstappen team two years agobut was still called Renault, the racing team from Milton Keynes decided not to use the discontinued model. Instead, a so-called film day with the current RB16 is to be completed on Thursday (June 25th) in Silverstone. The problem with this: On a film day, the driving time is limited to just 100 kilometers.
Ferrari did not have this restriction during its test on Tuesday in Mugello. Sebastian Vettel let off steam to his heart's content on the hilly mountain and valley railway before he handed over the steering wheel to his team-mate Charles Leclerc after the lunch break. Both drivers covered a complete race distance.
The course, peppered with fast corners, offered the drivers ideal terrain to shake off the rust of the long break. The test also provided important information for the mechanics. Ferrari had changed the layout of the garage to protect against corona transmissions. All team members had to wear a mask and adhere to the rules of distance, as will be the case in Spielberg.
Vettel enthusiastic about the car and the track
Incidentally, it was not the first for Vettel Time in Mugello. The Heppenheimer did a few laps in the Red Bull on the Tuscany roller coaster during official test drives in 2014. 'It was nice to finally be back in the cockpit. The break lasted longer than a normal winter', commented the 32-year-old with satisfaction.
'I was happy, all the guys from the team to see it again. And it was great to be able to feel a car like this again - and on such a spectacular track. I really think Mugello deserves to host a Grand Prix. It took me a few laps to start with Getting used to it again. But then it was really fun. '
Similar enthusiastic words colleague Leclerc also said after his exit: 'How great it was to finally be back on a real track. I really missed that. I did a lot of virtual racing during the long break, so I finally needed that impression again of real speed. '
In contrast to VettelLeclerc drove a Formula 1 car to Mugello for the first time on Tuesday. 'That made the day something very special. We are already looking forward to the start of the season. The serious side of life will start again next week.' Lettering stuck on. This is an official Formula 1 campaign against exclusion and racism. At the first race in Spielberg next week, all cars should be marked accordingly.
In the gallery we show you some pictures from the Ferrari restart in Mugello.