Carlos Sainz has reflected on his first on-track experience as a Ferrari Formula 1 driver, insisting he will “never forget” his maiden test with the team.
The Spaniard made his debut at Fiorano on Wednesday, having been chosen last year by Ferrari to replace Sebastian Vettel from 2021 onward.
Driving the SF71H car, which picked up six grand prix wins during the 2018 season, Sainz completed over 100 laps throughout the day.
Present at the test alongside Sainz was his father, Carlos Sainz Senior, his team-mate Charles Leclerc and the Head of the Ferrari Driver Academy Marco Matassa, who worked with Sainz at Toro Rosso from 2015 to 2017.
“A day I will never forget,” Sainz said. “This morning, the alarm went off at dawn because we had some very early meetings before going out on track.
“One of the most special moments for me today was when I arrived at the circuit and I saw the Ferrari with my number 55 on it.
“I was eager to jump in the car and that first installation lap was exciting. Then we got down to work and I am very pleased with how the day unfolded.
“We were able to get through an extensive programme and I was able to familiarise myself with the whole setup: the engineers and mechanics, the steering wheel, the procedures which are obviously a bit different to those on the car I drove last season.
“It was very nice to have my father there at such an important moment in my career.
“And I’d like to thank Mattia, Laurent and everyone at Ferrari for such a warm welcome and such a positive first day in the 2018 car. I am very happy and could not have wished for a better start.”
Ferrari is currently conducting a week-long test, consisting of its 2021 drivers and members of its junior academy.
Sainz will be behind the wheel of the 2018 car on Thursday morning, before 2021 Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher takes over in the afternoon.
Schumacher will drive once again on Friday morning, before his 2020 Formula 2 rival Callum Ilott rounds out the test in the evening.