Sainz Jr. eyes test in 2018 or 2019-spec Ferrari (Update)

(GMM) Ferrari is apparently making plans to prepare a 2019-spec car for Carlos Sainz Jr. to test early next year.

The Spanish driver, who is switching from McLaren, has expressed concerns that one and a half days of official pre-season testing will not be enough for him to prepare for 2021.

“A test with a Ferrari from two seasons ago may be an option,” Sainz said in Bahrain.

That triggered headlines that Sainz’s early test would have to be in a 2018-spec car, in line with rules requiring a two-year-old machine for tests outside of the regulations.

2019 Spec Ferrari

But Marc Gene, a Ferrari test driver, said Sainz’s car would actually be the 2019 edition.

“As it would be in January it would be the 2019 car, which would already be possible by then,” he told Movistar.

Gene backed Sainz’s desire to get up and running in a red car as soon as possible.

“It would be a very important test, because it is an opportunity to meet the mechanics and get closer to the new procedures that a team change involves,” said the Spaniard.

“One and a half days per driver in winter testing, I would say, is ridiculous,” Gene continued.

“We don’t even know where it will be, but it should be chosen very well because of the cold weather,” he said.

It is believed teams have voted for the 2021 tests to remain in Barcelona, despite talks about a move to Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Gene had some reassuring words for Sainz, who may be privately concerned that he is moving to Ferrari amid a clear competitive slump for the fabled Italian team.

“We will not only have a completely new engine, but we are going to use all of the tokens available to improve the aerodynamics, especially regarding improvements at the rear,” he said.

November 27, 2020 

(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. is already thinking about his forthcoming preparations to switch to Ferrari over the winter.

The Spaniard is concerned that new testing limits mean he and his next teammate Charles Leclerc will get just a day and a half each of pre-season running.

“We will find a way to minimize the losses, but nothing is the same as testing,” current McLaren driver Sainz said in Bahrain.

“It will certainly be my most difficult winter in Formula 1. A day and a half of pre-season is not enough to prepare given the complexity of these cars.

“I can assure you that Fernando, Vettel, Ricciardo and me will be green at the first race of the year.”

Vettel in 2018 Ferrari

Sainz admits that running the 2020 Ferrari at the ‘young driver test’ in Abu Dhabi is probably not possible, and so he and the Maranello team are contemplating other options.

“A test with a Ferrari from two seasons ago may be an option,” Sainz revealed, “but I still have a commitment to McLaren so I don’t want to be distracted from that.”

Less concerned about the situation is quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is moving from Ferrari to Aston Martin for 2021.

“I probably won’t be back in the car until the winter test,” the German said on Thursday ahead of the final ‘triple header’ of 2020 in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

“If we really only have three days, as is apparently planned, then it is certainly not a lot but it’s the same for everyone. Over the years we have gotten used to doing less and less testing. You can still learn a lot in a day and a half,” Vettel added.