Sebastian Vettel said that Mugello deserves to host a grand prix this year and teammate Charles Leclerc called the experience ‘memorable’ after the pair tested on the Ferrari-owned circuit on Tuesday.
Ferrari followed Mercedes’ and Renault’s lead in putting miles on a two-year-old car as it prepares for the July 5 start of the Formula 1 season in Austria, Vettel and Leclerc sharing the driving duties.
The venue’s availability later in the year had already been sounded out by F1 in case it wanted to add more European rounds to the current eight-race calendar — and that is something Vettel wants to see happen.
“I was glad to get back in the cockpit after a break that was even longer than the usual winter one,” Vettel said. “I was also very pleased to see all the guys from the team at last.
“It was great to once again get those feelings from a car and to do so at such a spectacular track. I really think Mugello deserves to host a Formula 1 (race). I hadn’t driven it for eight years, so it took a few laps for me to get used to the track. But then I really enjoyed myself.
“On a circuit like this, it felt pretty incredible. I think Mugello is one of the favorite tracks of all the drivers, so should we come here to have a grand prix this year. That would be great, and, for sure, even greater if we are allowed to have fans in the grandstand.”
Both drivers covered roughly a grand prix distance while the team was able to test the safety protocols it must adhere to when racing resumes.
Leclerc, too, said it was a special experience:
“How great was that, getting back on track for real. I’d missed it! Even though I’ve been pretty busy with virtual racing during this long break, I needed to once again get that physical impression of speed.
“Being able to drive on such a spectacular track as Mugello, for the first time at the wheel of a Formula 1 car, helped to make this day even more memorable. Now, we’re looking ahead to the season. Next week, things get serious!”