Ferrari kick off first F1 track action of 2024 with private test

Thomas Maher
Charles Leclerc driving Ferrari SF-23 in Barcelona.

Pirelli held a two-day test in Barcelona this week, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz performing driving duties.

Ferrari carried out a tyre development test on behalf of Pirelli, with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in action.

The Scuderia headed along to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo on Monday and Tuesday, taking on the first Pirelli tyre development testing of 2024 with an eye to the development of the 2025 tyres.

Driving last year’s SF-23, both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc took turns to drive the car and carry out the extensive tyre testing on behalf of the tyre manufacturer.

Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, and Arthur Leclerc take on testing duties

The FIA Sporting Regulations allow for a maximum of 35 days of specific tyre testing. In order to ensure the teams can’t use the tests in any way to benefit themselves, the cars must only use components and software that were used in a race weekend or test during the previous or current year.

The participating team in any given tyre test is also left in the dark as to which tyre compound they’re running, with the drivers being sent out on programmes commanded by Pirelli.

Sainz drove the car on Monday morning, taking in 79 laps with a best time of 1:15.610. Leclerc, driving in the afternoon, did 60 laps with a best time of 1:16.097.

On Tuesday, Sainz drove 90 laps with a fastest time of 1:15.802 before Leclerc did 72 laps to clock a 1:15.068. The second day of 2025 tyre testing saw Pirelli focusing on the comparison of different compounds and construction in a bid to reduce overheating.

Ferrari thus put in 301 laps in total, adding up to 1400 kilometres over the two days. The next Pirelli tyre test will take place at Jerez in Spain on the 6th and 7th of February, with Aston Martin and Mercedes supplying the cars and drivers. recommends

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All 10 teams will get the chance to carry out tyre testing over the year, which will take place at a variety of circuits and will include artificial wet running when required.

Alongside the Pirelli tyre test, Ferrari also handed Arthur Leclerc the keys to their 2022 Ferrari F1-75 – this track time being permitted under the Testing of Previous Cars regulations with the first ground-effect cars now turning two years old.

Leclerc ran with the number 14 on the car, but no information was made public regarding his pace or stints.

In a post, Leclerc – younger brother of Charles and also part of the Ferrari racing programme – said it was a “dream come true” after driving an F1 car for the first time.

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