A five-day test on the Fioran for the Scuderia Ferrari began yesterday, with seven drivers involved who experienced temperatures close to freezing, and Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong tested the F1 car behind the wheel of the 2018 Ferrari SF71H for the first time.
History repeats itself - the 22-year-old Frenchman drove number 28 in his car, just as his father did while driving a Ferrari in 1991. Giuliano initially had a cautious approach due to the wet track and cold conditions, but for the second ride, the Frenchman gradually accelerating the pace.
After Alesi, the seat position of the SF71H was changed to suit another FDA driver who came out on the track, Marcus Armstrong. He also debuted in a Formula 1 car, racing in Formula 2 last year, taking two podiums.
This year he continues in the same category, with the DAMS team. Marcus thus became the second New Zealander to drive a Ferrari Formula 1 car, after Chris Amon, who raced for the Scuderia from 1967 to 1969. He also drove for the Maranello team until 1970 in endurance races and, in 1967, teamed up with Lorenzo Bandini he won Daytona 24 Hours and Monza 1000 km.
Marcus was driving with his favorite number 9, which he inherited from his first driver coach in New Zealand when he first tried karting. Ferrari's SF71H on the Fioran was tested by Robert Shwartzman. Last year, the Russian won more Formula 2 races than anyone else with four wins, finishing fourth in his debut season.
But yesterday wasn’t his debut in SF71H because he was already driving it on a test related to the # RoadToF1 program on September 30, 2020, along with Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott. Schumacher and Ilott will return to the cockpit later this week, Thursday and Friday for Schumacher and Friday for Ilott only.
With Robert, Scuderia performed a more extensive program, thanks to his greater experience, after he had already passed 129 laps of the Yas Marina track at the Young Drivers ’Exam on December 15 last year in Abu Dhabi.
The Russian wore the number 35 on his car, a number that means a lot to him, as suggested by karting veteran Walter Masini when Robert was just seven, and also the number he used when he won his first World Championship.
The first day of testing on the Fioran was also beneficial for engineers and mechanics to get back into operation by all technical procedures as well as precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Work continues today when SF71H will be driven by regular Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz will make his track debut with Ferrari on Wednesday.