Date published: November 29 2018
Charles Leclerc admits it was “quite an emotional day” climbing into the Ferrari in Abu Dhabi, knowing that this will be his team for 2019.
Leclerc swapped his Sauber overalls for Ferrari’s red kit on Tuesday and watched from the sidelines as his new team-mate Sebastian Vettel went quickest on Day One.
Handed his opportunity on Wednesday, the Frenchman beat Vettel’s time by four-tenths.
He covered 135 laps on Day Two with a fastest time of 1:36.450 using Pirelli’s ‘Compound 5’ tyre, the 2019 hypersoft.
It wasn’t Leclerc’s first time driving the SF71H, but the 21-year-old says it was a definitely the most special test he has done with the Scuderia.
“Of course, because it’s the first time I get in the car knowing what is waiting for me next year,” he told Crash.net.
“It’s obviously extremely special.
“Also, it’s pretty special now everyone knows it and also all the team knows it.
“It’s all different, but I’m extremely happy.
“It was quite an emotional day.”
Although happy to finish P1 on the day, Leclerc admits Wednesday’s run was more about understanding Pirelli’s 2019 than it was about pace.
“I always want to do well, no matter who I’m driving for.
“But today the main target was to understand the tyres, rather than demonstrate my performances.
“We focused on that, and I’m happy.”