Leclerc makes Ferrari history with special drive of 2020 car through Maranello
Charles Leclerc made Ferrari history today [Thursday] as the Scuderia again fired up its 2020 Formula 1 car for the first time in almost four months.
After 110 days of inactivity since the end of pre-season testing, sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the team's SF1000 roared back into life at the crack of dawn in Maranello.
Leclerc then became the first driver of the modern era to be at the wheel of an F1 car as it made its way through the town's streets.
The 22-year-old Monégasque set off from the team's headquarters, the Officina Classiche before making his way past the Gestione Sportiva, where all the team's cars have been designed, built and developed since 2015.
After passing the Maranello museum, Leclerc concluded his drive by taking the Via Gilles Villeneuve en route to the team's Fiorano test track.
Leclerc said: "I don’t normally like getting up early, but this morning there was a great reason to do so. Maybe it woke a few people up, but it was great to drive through the streets of Maranello in the SF1000.
"It was exciting to get back in the car today, particularly on such a special route. Being back in the cockpit felt like coming home again.
"It seemed like a fun way of saying we are ready to get back on track. Now I can’t wait to drive the SF1000 in Austria.”
The car will next run in Friday practice for the Austria Grand Prix on July 3.
The team's 2018 car will be used for a test at Fiorano as Leclerc and team-mate Sebastian Vettel, along with the Scuderia's race personnel, acclimatise themselves to the new protocols in place over a grand prix weekend.
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