Charles Leclerc enjoyed the first day of testing in Barcelona on Wednesday, but has warned against any complacency after a solid day for Ferrari.
Leclerc ended day one second on the timing screens after setting a 1:20.165, just under six tenths of a second adrift of McLaren’s Lando Norris, who broke up the Ferrari 1-2 late in the day.
The Monegasque managed 80 laps in his morning session out on track, and enjoyed getting back into the groove following the winter break.
“The first day of testing is behind us. This is always a really exciting moment at the start of each season. It was the first time that we could really push in our new car and it felt really good to be back behind the wheel,” Leclerc said.
The 24-year-old confirmed that the Maranello squad had completed all of the programmes they intended to, and is looking forward to his afternoon session later today.
“We completed all the tests we wanted to and ran through our full programme smoothly, which is good for a new car. I am looking forward to being back on track again tomorrow,” he explained.
Though it may have been a promising day for the Italian team, with Leclerc second and Sainz third, The Monegasque warns that nobody will be showing their true pace at this stage, and some will be concealing it more than others.
“The initial feeling is not bad, but we shouldn’t get carried away by the timesheets today, as these are early days and everyone is still hiding their true form,” he added.
It’s impossible to have a clear picture just yet, so we have to stay focused and keep working hard. We put in a lot of laps, more than any other team today, and that’s a positive we will build on.”
Leclerc and Sainz guided the Maranello outfit to third in the Constructors’ Championship last year, and will be aiming to break into the top two having finished 290 points behind champions Mercedes.