Ferrari’s 2018 car “has improved dramatically” since the in-season test in Barcelona, according to reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Italian is reserve for both Ferrari and Sauber this season, and last drove the SF71H at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in late May as he still qualifies as a rookie. Having had two months away from the Ferrari, Giovinazzi says it was easy for him to see how much progress has been made with the car after topping the times on the opening day of the in-season test in Hungary.
“[The car has made] a big step, last time was in May and now we’re in the end of July,” Giovinazzi said. “It was a big step, it’s really good to see this improvement from the car. It showed the team and drivers are doing a fantastic job to improve the car.
“I had tried the car in the Barcelona rookie test, and I must say it has improved dramatically. I think the team did a great job. ”
Having ended up over 2.5 seconds clear of the rest of the field on the hypersoft tire, Giovinazzi explained how Ferrari had planned qualifying simulations as part of the opening day’s running.
“My main program, we did a few long runs in the morning and a quali run in the afternoon. The rain was coming and we delayed the end of the program with a lot of long runs. It was a good day, positive for me and for the team and this is really important.
“I arrived from FP1 held last Friday on a dirty track and driving a different car as Sauber, and although it is a car that has improved a lot, there is still much difference with Ferrari. But I must say that it is always easier to adapt to a more powerful car than the reverse. This morning I started getting comfortable and I have reached a good feeling with the medium tires, then in the afternoon we moved on to softer compounds and the times were reduced.
“We approached the qualifying mode with medium, then we went down with mounting supersoft compounds and hypersoft. The main goal was not to get the time, but to give the team the data it needs, and I’m pleased with the contribution that I could give.”
Giovinazzi will switch back to the Sauber on day two of the test in Hungary, with Kimi Raikkonen returning to drive for Ferrari on Wednesday.