Ferrari starting to understand outright performance

Date published: March 13 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Charles Leclerc

Two days into testing, Ferrari have gathered “a lot of information” about the SF21’s “outright performance”, according to Laurent Mekies.

The Italian team has made a steady if somewhat unspectacular start to pre-season testing.

With Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sharing duties on both days, the two have compiled a total of 244 laps between them without any major issues.

However, they have hardly set the timesheets alight, with Leclerc’s average pace on long runs on Saturday slower than AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly’s.

Even so, with fuel loads and setups unknown, little can be read into how fast each car on the grid is yet, but Mekies, the Ferrari sporting director, says that useful info about that gathered towards the end of the second day.

“The weather was much better than yesterday, although the wind was still a feature, especially in the first part of the day,” he said.

“We worked a lot on management of the Pirelli tyres over long runs and we got plenty of data which we will now analyse carefully.

“In the final hour, we also began to look at how the SF21 went in terms of outright performance and here too, we gathered a lot of useful information.

“These three days are vitally important and we are taking a methodical approach because the work we do now will be the key to how we get on during the season.

“Therefore the most important thing is to complete the planned programme and that’s what we have done so far.”

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Leclerc was in the car for the latter of the two sessions on Saturday and spent most of his time doing longer runs on the harder compound tyres.

While, in terms of outright pace, there wasn’t much to shout about, the Monegasque says he’s pleased with how the car is driving.

“Honestly we are quite happy and satisfied, the car on the long runs went well and I had good feelings,” he told Sky.

“As always during testing, it is difficult to understand everything and it is always relative to how fast the others will be. We didn’t have any reliability problems and that’s very positive, we covered a lot of laps.

“We will continue to work, I can’t wait to be here for the real race.”

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