Leclerc takes to track as Sainz watches on

Finley Crebolder

Charles Leclerc took to track for the first time in 2021 on day two of Ferrari’s Fiorano test with Carlos Sainz watching on.

Ferrari academy drivers Marcus Armstrong, Giuliano Alesi and Robert Shwartzman got the ball rolling on the test – using the 2018 challenger – on Monday.

As planned, full-time driver Leclerc took to track on the second day, and the Monegasque completed over 100 laps, with the focus being on practice starts and preparation for pre-season testing in particular.

“Getting back in the car today was great, in fact it was brilliant!” he said afterwards.

“Seeing my mechanics again, putting the race suit on, doing my warm-up routine, putting on my helmet and finally jumping in the car and pressing the starter button… the sound of a Ferrari engine is always magic.

“The day was simply perfect and we got through all the work we had planned to do. I really enjoyed myself! Now I hand over to Carlos and I wish him the best of luck for tomorrow.”

Perfect for perhaps this one little off.

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While Leclerc was on track, his new team-mate for 2021, Sainz, was watching carefully on the sidelines ahead of his first experiences of driving a Ferrari on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Spaniard has been hugely curious to see what his 2021 machinery will be like, so much so that it’s been on his mind just before he goes to sleep.

Asked during an Instagram Q&A, and reported by, which Formula 1 car he dreams of driving, Sainz said: “This year’s one. I’m already impatient to see how it drives and how it handles.

“I go to sleep every day wondering how it will feel compared to my last cars in F1. I can’t wait!”

Given that the 2020 car was Ferrari’s worst in a long time, as the team finished the season down in P6 in the standings, Sainz will be hoping that, despite the stable regulations, they can take steps forward the upcoming season.

If not, thinking about it before going to bed may well lead to some nightmares…

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