The second Formula 1 pre-season test got underway at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, the last prior to the opening round at Melbourne’s Albert Park track in Australia on 15 March. On the first of the three days, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc shared driving duties at the wheel of the SF1000.
Morning. Sebastian was first to drive, carrying out an installation lap shortly after 9. Then the German went back out on a prototype C2 Pirelli tyre, designed specifically with the Dutch Grand Prix in mind. The Zandvoort track’s unusual surface and its banked section meant that the sport’s sole tyre supplier has opted to produce a compound specifically for that event and all teams were able to try it. Then it was back to the standard C2 compound as the job of assessing the car continued. In the second part of the morning, the German switched to the C3 tyres with which he set his fastest time of 1:18.113. He completed 84 laps, or 391 kilometres.
Afternoon. During the lunch break, the car was reconfigured to suit Charles. Once again, after an installation lap, the car was fitted with the Zandvoort C2 prototypes so that Leclerc could also sample them. He then switched to the standard C2. The Monegasque driver tackled some aero work and did some long runs before switching to C3 tyres for the final hour, when he set his best time, stopping the clocks in 1:18.244. He did a total of 80 laps, equivalent to 372 kilometres.
Tomorrow. For the second and penultimate day of the test, Sebastian will be at the wheel of the SF1000 all day, his last in the car before the start of the season. On Friday, Charles will drive.
Charles Leclerc #16
"It was nice to be back in the car today, even if the wind that intensified in the afternoon complicated our programme, because it meant the data we gathered, relating to the handling of the car, could not be relied upon completely.
At least we managed to cover a good number of laps, moving forward in terms of our understanding of the car. Then, finally, in the closing minutes, the wind died down and I was able to do a run that was more reliable in terms of feedback. At the moment, it’s impossible to make comparisons with our rivals.
Over the next two days, we will continue to concentrate on ourselves to try and get all the potential out of the car."