Charles Leclerc became the second driver to get behind the wheel of a 2020 Formula 1 car following the COVID-19 lockdown, but the Ferrari driver did it in unorthodox fashion.
After Racing Point carried out a promotional day at Silverstone on Wednesday, allowing Lance Stroll 100km in its 2020 car ahead of the delayed start of the season in Austria next month, Ferrari also ran its new car on Thursday in Italy. In a special demonstration that took place before 7 a.m., Leclerc drove the SF1000 from the center of Ferrari’s Maranello factory where the racing department used to be based, crossing to the current location of the Gestione Sportiva and then navigating more streets past the Maranello Museum to reach the Fiorano test track (watch video of the event below).
“I don’t normally like getting up early, but this morning there was a great reason to do so,” Leclerc said. “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.”
While Leclerc’s run took place in beautiful early morning sunshine, his future teammate was less fortunate with the weather. McLaren duo Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were greeted with heavy rain as they tested Formula 3 cars at Silverstone with Carlin.