Leclerc’s first two laps in new Ferrari “went really well” · RaceFans

Charles Leclerc gave his first impressions of the Ferrari’s new SF-23 after being the first to drive it at the team’s Fiorano test track.

“It feels good,” he said. “The first kilometres with this new project after doing so many kilometres on the simulator, it feels special.

“Everything went smoothly, obviously with two laps it’s difficult to go into details, but I already gave my feedback once I was in the car there to the engineers to get the first feeling. The car was running well, smooth, everything went really well.”

A coin toss decided which of Ferrari’s drivers would get to shake down the SF-23, which Leclerc won. Following his run and time sharing feedback with the team, his team mate Carlos Sainz got to do a further three laps in the car.

“It’s amazing to have a grandstand in Fiorano with all the Tifosi here,” Leclerc added after he got out of the car. “There are also loads of Tifosi there at the bridge. It is very, very special to feel the support also on a day like this. I don’t think it happens to any other teams, and that’s why Ferrari is so special.

“It’s also thanks to all the Tifosi around the world that are helping us and pushing us in the good moments, but especially in the bad moments too. I really hope that this season will be an amazing one. It felt good.”

Sainz said the new car “looks super, super cool – I think it’s even a step more beautiful than last year, and I already believe last year we had one of the most beautiful cars.”

“Now [with our runs today] you’re just making sure you’re doing an installation lap, the brakes are working fine, you start to feel the engine, the traction, you feel a bit the tyres,” he added. “You put the car a bit more on lateral load, longitudinal, you start feeling the first things from the car.

“As soon as the car and everything is warm, [Charles] is going to push. That’s our nature. He’s going to try to extract a little bit out of it and have the first feeling, so later we meet with the engineers and we give them our first impressions, which are going to be very subtle.”

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