Charles Leclerc has said that since arriving for the first pre-season test in Barcelona that he has focused on getting on with the job, rather than having the emotions of being a Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver.
The Monegasque driver rounded off the final day of the first pre-season test with 138 laps on the board, as well as setting the sixth best time of the day. Leclerc set a 1m18.086s time on the C3 medium tyre.
Ferrari’s first pre-season test saw them collect 598 laps over the course of the four days, the second most of any teams. Only Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport have set more laps than the Scuderia, completing 610 between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Leclerc reflect on the first opening days of testing and his first drive with the SF90, saying that the car doesn’t feel ‘new’ but more like a well developed machinery by the team.
“For now, I don’t want to say too much, because this is just testing” said Leclerc. “But the feeling from the car is very good. We did many laps, the reliability was good and every day we managed to complete our programme.”
“I feel quite at ease in the car, even if there are still a few things I need to get used to, including how the team operates. But this is quite an easy car to drive.
“As Seb said, this doesn’t feel like a new car, but more like one that is quite well developed. Driveability is very good, which shows that the team has done an amazing job over the winter to bring a very solid car here.”
Tuesday saw Leclerc made his first drive as a Ferrari driver and ended the day with both the most laps completed and the fastest driver of the day. The reliability and outstanding pace by Ferrari have put them on top of the pecking order by many.
The anticipation of Leclerc’s arrival in Ferrari was something many fans looked forwarded to for some time. It was also an emotional moment for Charles having been in the Ferrari Drivers’ Academy throughout his career. He was also the godson of the late Jules Bianchi, a former F1 driver who was also part of the FDA and a close family friend to Leclerc.
But the twenty-one year said that he put any emotion to one side and was fully focused on the job at hand on his first day as a Ferrari driver.
“As soon as I arrived here in Barcelona, I switched to ‘work’ mode and put any emotion to one side to get on with the job as well as possible,” added Leclerc.
“The results? I’m not really focusing on that side of things. I’m focusing on myself, trying to do my best and to improve with every lap.”