Carlos Sainz will complete a dream move to Ferrari next year. However, he will have to adjust to the pace of the car. With just three days of official testing being allowed, teams have to look for other ways to help their drivers out.
One way is simulator practice, something that virtually tries to replicate the experience in an F1 car and has no restrictions on usage. However, if the drivers want to experience the real thing, they can also test the 2018 cars. Ferrari will give the Spaniard opportunity to drive arguably their best car of turbo-hybrid era.
Assessing the short but useful test, Team Principal Mattia Binotto said –
“Obviously we are trying to organise something for Carlos. To make sure he can speed up his integration with the team, with the engineers, with the car, with our way of working, our procedures.
“We are [also] currently trying to organise time to run with an old car. Just to make sure again [he can] get used to the team and our procedures and know the people.”
However, his replacement Daniel Ricciardo won’t be getting the opportunity to test the McLaren’s 2-year-old car. The Woking-based outfit is preparing itself for an engine switch from Renault to Mercedes. Hence, they cannot integrate the 2018 car chassis with new engines. Explaining the challenge, Team Principal Andreas Seidl said –
“In terms of running an old car, unfortunately, we don’t have this possibility at the moment. Because we are not geared up for it [because of] the recent power unit changes we had at McLaren.
“Of course, it’s challenging also with only having three test days, but these are how the regulations are. So I don’t waste any energy thinking about how bad that is. It is the challenge we are in, we simply have to get on with it.”
Over at Racing Point, the outgoing Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will face the same plight as Ricciardo. Like McLaren, they are also bracing themselves for major changes next season, including being rebranded as Aston Martin. Let’s see if that small advantage helps Saniz finish above Ricciardo and Vettel in the 2021 Driver’s Championship.