Leclerc drives Ferrari’s 2020 F1 car on Maranello streets
June 20 2020 , 10:36 pm
Ferrari became the second Formula 1 team to run its 2020 car since the COVID-19 crisis hit when Charles Leclerc drove the SF1000 on the streets of Maranello on Thursday.
The cars have started to return to action this month for the first time since February’s final pre-season test in Barcelona, with Mercedes and Renault testing 2018 cars at Silverstone and Austria respectively, while Racing Point ran its 2020 challenger at Silverstone on Wednesday.
Ferrari has used up both of its on-track promotional days, but teams are allowed two demonstration days to run cars no more than 15km on routes that aren’t circuits in use for racing during a season.
This run will have given Leclerc an unusual opportunity to put a few slow speed kilometres on the new car ahead of the return to racing in Austria next month.
It was the first time in the modern era that a current F1 car has been driven around Ferrari’s home town, and the team says it was to mark the approaching start of the season after the COVID-19 crisis first took hold.
“I don’t normally like getting up early, but this morning there was a great reason to do so,” said Leclerc.
“Maybe it woke a few people up, but it was great to drive through the streets of Maranello in the SF1000.
“It was exciting to get back in the car today, particularly on such a special route. Being back in the cockpit felt like coming home again.
“It seemed like a fun way of saying we are ready to get back on track. Now I can’t wait to drive the SF1000 in Austria.”
It is understood Ferrari is set to test its 2018 car at its Firorano test track at some point before the Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July, though exact details are yet to be revealed.
McLaren, who won’t be testing any of its F1 cars prior to Austria, is running Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris at Silverstone on Thursday in Formula 3 cars.