With the 2020 season finally set to kick off, teams are steadily trying to get back in the groove. Firstly, Mercedes set the ball rolling with a private test in Silverstone, with Scuderia Ferrari having its own test at Fiorano. Now, McLaren have joined the bandwagon with their drivers, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.
However, there is a massive plot twist, as the duo were spotted at Silverstone in F3 cars. Admittedly, it is surprising to see them in F3 cars, and not F1 cars. On the other hand, both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz have been away from an F1 car for a while.
Jumping straight into the 2020 F1 car would have been a terrible idea as it takes the body a while to adjust. The Mercedes duo opted for a similar tactic, except they hopped in an older Mercedes. It is entirely possible that the older F1 cars and the F3 cars place significantly less strain on the drivers.
At the same time, it helped them build a little more tolerance, so that when they drive the 2020 cars, they do not struggle. For a long time, the drivers had to while away their time at home in front of their simulator rigs. Now though, all 20 drivers can finally rejoice because F1 is back in action in early July.
Coming back to Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, the F3 cars are the closest they can get to its F1 counterpart before the season begins. Theoretically, once they feel confident enough, they can get back to driving the 2020 McLaren car. In addition to that, they do not want to unnecessarily wear out the engine or gearbox, which could cost them in the season. Finally, it is a chance for Sainz and Norris to shake off any rust.