Leclerc and Sainz complete first laps of 2022 for Ferrari

Mark Scott
Ferrari were not used to the regular Maranello visits from Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari were not used to the regular Maranello visits from Carlos Sainz.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have dusted off some of the cobwebs ahead of 2022 season, completing a session each at Fiorano.

The three-day event had to be postponed due to Ferrari changing their plans on which car they were going to test with, swapping the SF21 out and preparing the 2018 SF71H instead due to some uncertainty over the rules on testing previous cars.

But, with the changes made, academy driver and 2021 Formula 2 World Championship runner-up Robert Shwartzman kick-started Ferrari’s own pre-season programme on Wednesday afternoon. He completed 44 laps, which equates to 131km of running.

Thursday saw the return of one of the strongest driver line-ups that Formula 1 has to offer with both Leclerc and Sainz putting some early mileage on their 2022 clocks.

Sainz was the early riser, completing 59 laps and 176km in the morning session and was back in the same car he completed his very first laps in as a Ferrari driver a year ago. The Spaniard did suffer a spin at the last corner during his run, but it was nothing too dramatic.

Leclerc took over the reins in the afternoon and banked in 48 laps, with the Italian branch of reporting that the Monegasque driver completed ‘a series of laps characterised by ups and downs in performance, as if he was trying out some procedures that will be useful on the 674’.

Project 674 is the working title given to Ferrari’s as yet unnamed 2022 challenger, due to be unveiled to the world on February 17.

Even though the test is a private one, that doesn’t stop Ferrari’s loyal following from trying to get a sneak peek of the action.

The Fiorano event, which is becoming somewhat of a traditional ritual for the Scuderia, concludes on Friday with Shwartzman returning for another blast.

Following their worst result in four decades, Ferrari’s road to resurgence took a step in the right direction by finishing P3 in the Constructors’ Championship during the 2021 season, seeing off a sustained challenge from old foes McLaren.

Key members of the Ferrari outfit, team boss Mattia Binotto included, are quietly confident of more success in 2022 with wholesale regulation changes coming into effect.

They say that even their fierce 2021 battle with McLaren has not compromised their plans at all for the new season ahead.


Ferrari predict fewer in-season developments in 2022

Ferrari’s racing director Laurent Mekies believes that there will be less in-season developments in 2022.