AlphaTauri will run its 2020 Formula 1 car at Imola on Wednesday in preparation for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The ex-San Marino Grand Prix venue could return to the F1 calendar in 2020 as it is one of the options to be added to the schedule if the coronavirus pandemic prevents F1 from hosting the flyaway events it is hoping for.
But the main reason for AlphaTauri using the circuit (pictured below in 2006) for its filming day is that it is only 20 minutes from the Red Bull-owned team’s Faenza base.
AlphaTauri will become only the second team to run its 2020 car since pre-season testing, following Racing Point’s Silverstone running.
Filming days limit teams to 100km and using demonstration tyres, which is ample opportunity to shake the car down again and allow the team to get used to F1’s new COVID-19 safety protocols.
Meanwhile, Ferrari is completing a test at Mugello with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc driving the team’s 2018 F1 car.
Vettel, who is preparing for his final season at Ferrari, drove the SF71H at the Italian track in the morning before Leclerc took over.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) June 23, 2020
It is Ferrari’s first proper run since pre-season testing, although Leclerc drove the team’s 2020 car the SF1000 through Maranello last week as a demonstration.
Ferrari is using the 2018 car at Mugello, a track it owns, because the rules allow unrestricted running of older vehicles.
Mugello is a strong contender to join the 2020 calendar as a bonus European race.
Half the grid has now either tested or is about to test again before the recommencement of the season.
Mercedes ran a 2018 car at Silverstone, while Renault did the same at the Red Bull Ring.