Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Monza, 2020

Sainz to test two-year-old car before next season, Vettel and Ricciardo won’t

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Ferrari will arrange for Carlos Sainz Jnr to test one of their two-year-old cars as part of his pre-season preparations when he joins the team next year.

However Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo will not have the same opportunity when they move to Racing Point and McLaren respectively during the winter.

With only three official days of pre-season testing permitted, teams are looking for alternative ways to give new drivers an opportunity to adjust to their procedures and processes. Fernando Alonso has already run in a two-year-old Renault ahead of his return with the team next year.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed they will not be able to run a two-year-old car for Ricciardo because their switch from Renault to Mercedes for 2021 means they will not have access to a suitable power unit for their older chassis.

“In terms of running an old car, unfortunately we don’t have this possibility at the moment because we are not geared up for it [because of] the recent power unit changes we had at McLaren,” he said.

“We are working on a plan together with all departments on the technical side, but also on the communication side and marketing side, to get Daniel integrated from the first of January as quickly as possible. I think we have a good plan there and how we want to do that.

“Of course, it’s challenging also with only having three test days, but these are how the regulations are so I don’t waste any energy with thinking about how bad that is. It is the challenge we are in, we simply have to get on with it.”

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said his team will not be able to run a two-year-old car for Vettel when he joins the team, which will become Aston Martin next year.

“We, too, don’t have the ability to run a two-year-old car,” said Szafnauer. “So we’ll be doing everything we can with Seb to get him integrated into the team, do a lot of sim work with him as well and use the three days of testing that we have to the best of our ability to get him ready for the first race.”

Sainz’s run in a two-year-old Ferrari will be one of the measures the team takes to ensure he is fully prepared to make his debut for the team in the 2021 F1 season.

“Certainly one-and-a-half days is very short, very little time,” said team principal Mattia Binotto. “Obviously we are trying to organise something for Carlos to make sure he can speed up his integration with the team, with the engineers, with the car, with our way of working, our procedures.

“The simulator will be important in that respect. Obviously at the simulator he may work with his race team, his engineers, technicians.

“We are [also] currently trying to organise time to run with an old car just to make sure again [he can] get used to the team and our procedures and know the people.”

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Dieter Rencken
    Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
    Keith Collantine
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    4 comments on “Sainz to test two-year-old car before next season, Vettel and Ricciardo won’t”

    1. Even though the 2018 FI/RP car has the Mercedes PU.

    2. He’s going to test the car that got sabotaged in Hockenheim 2018. At least it’s not the 2020 car.

    3. Saw with Alonso now it’s just a ‘nice to’ thing to sort details and get-to-know, so no biggie

    4. Vettel and Ric are both moving to better cars whereas Sainz is going the other way so he needs more time?

    Comments are closed.