Ferrari’s Formula 1 drivers will test at Mugello tomorrow in a 2018 car as the team begins its on-track preparations for the start of the 2020 season.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have not driven an F1 car since pre-season testing finished at the end of February.
The F1 season was suspended before free practice in Australia had even started because of the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, with the season set to begin in Austria at the start of July, teams have tried to arrange limited on-track work to get their drivers back behind the wheel and get used to F1’s new safety protocols that must be observed while operating the cars.
Leclerc drove the 2020 Ferrari out of the Maranello factory and to Fiorano early on Thursday morning last week, amid expectations Ferrari was going to conduct a 2018-car (pictured above) test at its test track.
Instead, Ferrari will test its SF71H at Mugello on Tuesday.
#Seb5 and #Charles16 are finally back in the office tomorrow for some testing at @MugelloCircuit. We just can’t wait to see them behind the wheel of our #SF71H! #essereFerrari 🔴 #BackOnTrack pic.twitter.com/XvBszIBUZR
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) June 22, 2020
Mugello, also owned by Ferrari, is a strong contender to join the 2020 calendar as a bonus European race.
The 2018 car is being used by Leclerc and Vettel as Ferrari can conduct unlimited mileage with a car from two years ago or earlier, and doesn’t have any filming days with which to run its 2020 car for a restricted 100km.
Teams have spent most of the time since then observing government lockdown or F1 shutdown measures, and only resumed work earlier this month.
But relaxation of rules around COVID-19 this month have allowed drivers and teams to return to the track in limited testing environments.
Mercedes kicked off the return of F1 action by running a two-day private test at Silverstone for Bottas and Lewis Hamilton with a 2018 car.
Renault has done the same for Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon at the Red Bull Ring, while Racing Point used a filming day to become the first team to log mileage with its 2020 car.
AlphaTauri may also use its remaining filming day to run its 2020 car at Imola.
McLaren and Williams have ruled out running on track before Austria because of a lack of promotional days for 2020 cars, and being unable to field an older machine.