Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow completed 306 laps, equivalent to almost six times the distance of last Sunday’s Grand Prix, during the first of two days of testing at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit. The main task of the day was evaluating the 18 inch tyres to be used as from next season.
Two cars. The team actually worked on two programmes today, given that apart from a mule car running the 2022 18 inch tyres, there was also an SF21 on track. Doing most of the driving was the team’s expert simulator driver Antonio Fuoco. He began the day in the 2021 car and then switched to the mule during the afternoon. The Italian, who also drove in this test last year with the SF1000, covered 146 laps, equivalent to around 800 kilometres.
Last drive of the year for Charles. In the morning, Charles Leclerc was the first to drive the car on 18 inch wheels, covering 87 laps, his last of this long season. “It’s useful to continue to get an understanding of the new size of tyre, which is bigger than those we used to the end of this season,” he said. “The wheels are very big and the feeling through the wheel is quite different. The team has acquired plenty of data, which will be useful in preparing the 2022 car. Personally, today helped me learn more about these tyres, even though I doubt the feeling from this car will be the same as those from next year’s one, given that it will be conceptually very different.”
Robert in the SF21 and tomorrow it’s Carlos. In the afternoon, Robert Shwartzman drove. Having finished second in the Formula 2 championship at the weekend, the Ferrari Driver Academy student replaced Fuoco in the SF21, doing 73 laps. It was the Russian’s third drive this year in a Ferrari Formula 1 car, but it was the first time he had driven the current car. “I drove the Scuderia F1 car for the second half of the day, which I really enjoyed a lot. I managed to get through the day’s workplan with the team despite a few red flags during the session. I’ve also learned a few new things compared to previous tests, such start procedures, which was also very positive for me. Overall I was quite consistent with the race runs and that was one of the main targets. A big thank you to the Scuderia for this opportunity, I’m really looking forward to continuing working with them and hopefully I will get more opportunities to drive the car in the future.” Tomorrow is the final day of F1 track action of the year and Carlos Sainz will be the only Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver on track, spending the whole day at the wheel of the car with 18 inch wheels. Shwartzman will not have time to watch as he is switching to the Haas VF-21, which his fellow academy student Mick Schumacher has been racing this year.