Carlos Sainz will likely get his first outing as a Ferrari driver during a private test in January behind the wheel of the Maranello squad’s 2018 car.
Sainz will replace Sebastian Vettel at the outfit next year, ending a two-year stint at McLaren.
However, pre-season testing for 2021 is set to be held across just three days, halving the available track time, meaning drivers will likely have just one and a half days of driving before the season begins.
As a result, Ferrari is planning to run Sainz in an older car in order to optimise his preparation at his new team.
“Certainly, one a half days is very short, very little time,” said Ferrari’s Team Principal Mattia Binotto.
“We are trying to organise something for Carlos to make sure he can speed up somehow his integration with the team, with the engineers, with the car, with our way of working and procedures.
“Simulator will be important in that respect, where he works with this race team, engineers, technicians.
“We are currently trying to organise January time eventually to run with an old car, just make sure again to get used to mainly our team and our procedures and our people.”
F1 regulations state that teams can only hold its own tests if it runs a car that is at least two years older than the current machinery.
McLaren will not run a similar private programme to Ferrari for Sainz’s replacement Daniel Ricciardo, nor will Aston Martin for Sebastian Vettel next year.
“The rules are pretty clear of what we can do plus we also do not have the possibility at McLaren to run an older car,” said Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s Team Principal.
“So it’s straightforward, Daniel will only have the possibility in this single test with these three days.
“Of course we are working hard with the team and from 1 January onwards we will integrate him in the team as quickly as possible.
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal at Racing Point, added: “We too don’t have the ability to run a two-year-old car.
“So we’ll be doing everything we can with Seb to get him integrated in the team, the sim work, and use the three days of testing we have to the best of our ability to get him ready for the first race.”