F2 racers Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman completed a memorable day of testing with Ferrari at Fiorano.
Ahead of their scheduled FP1 run at Nurburgring and Yas Marina circuit in the 2020 season, F2 racers and academy drivers Schumacher, Ilott and Shwartzman completed a memorable F1 test run at the manufacturer’s Fiorano track in the 2018 Ferrari SF71H.
First up was Shwartzman, who had his first-ever taste of a F1 car, as the Russian came upto speed rather quickly as per Ferrari. He sported the #35 as the SMP Racing driver has the first day memory itched on his minds for the rest of his life.
“I have dreamed of the day when I would drive a Formula 1 car for the first time ever since I was a little kid and finally today was the day,” said Shwartzman. “Driving this car was fantastic and great fun. The power is what strikes you most: when you accelerate the horsepower never seems to stop.
“The brakes are equally impressive: the car stops when it feels as though it’s too late to make the corner. Apart from the actual driving, it was also special to work with the team. There are a lot of them and they pay attention to every little detail. They really work at a very high level. Thanks to everyone who made this memorable day possible.”
Following him was Ilott, who has had prior F1 test outing in a Alfa Romeo, but it was his first with Ferrari as he sported the #53. He ran at a constant pace, impressing the team, as he now readies himself to drive the Haas during Eifel GP at Nurburgring. “This was an unforgettable day,” he started.
“I’d already been able to drive a Formula 1 car last year, but today I was able to get to grips with the car with just ten days to go to my debut on a Grand Prix weekend. It was very useful and I thank Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. What struck me about the SF71H was its aero efficiency, which means you have grip levels you just don’t find in other categories. Then there’s the extreme power from the engine and instant braking.”
The day ended with Schumacher in the car, as the German returned to the Ferrari cockpit after having already driven it once in an in-season test. He has had demo outings in his father’s car as well, which helped to relate the changes between the two generations.
He has had the chance to drive the Alfa Romeo F1 car as well in the in-season test as he will now drive it again during the Eifel GP. “I would like to thank Ferrari and the FDA for giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a hybrid-powered Formula 1 car, a few days before my debut at a Grand Prix weekend at the Nurburgring,” said Schumacher.
“It was very useful to get used to all the procedures again, which are pretty complex and also with how a team works in this top level of the sport. A few weeks ago in Mugello, I was able to drive an F2004, an amazing car, but quite old fashioned now. Getting behind the wheel of a 2018 hybrid car allowed me to understand how important the electronics are for the Power Unit and how much progress Formula 1 has made in terms of aerodynamics.
“I can’t wait to jump into the cockpit in Germany and it will be nice to take part in a practice session for the first time in front of my home crowd. In the team, there are some mechanics who worked with my father and that will make the day even more special.”
Speaking about the day, Marco Matassa Head of FDA Technical Department, stated: “I am very pleased with how today went. I’d like to thank the Scuderia Ferrari race team for its support, because in the middle of such a busy season, it’s no small matter to change the car configuration to suit the individual needs of all three drivers, while helping them get to grips with something as complex as a hybrid-powered Formula 1 car.
“On the technical front I’m happy with the way Mick, Callum and Robert quickly got used to the SF71H. For two of them this wasn’t their first time in a Formula 1 car, but even so it’s not easy to switch from the driving style demanded from a Formula 2 car to one best suited to Formula 1.
“The car has much more power, a significantly more sophisticated braking system and power steering that requires sensitivity and precision to use properly. However, they were all quick and immediately began running at a good pace. I believe the laps they did today will be very useful when Mick and Callum run on Friday at the Nurburgring.
“On a purely emotional level, it was wonderful to see the lads in their red race suit in front of their Ferrari, posing for the group photo, especially with Robert who was having his very first drive in a Formula 1 car, which is an unforgettable moment for any driver.”
Here’s Robert Shwartzman:
Here’s Callum Ilott:
Here’s Mick Schumacher:
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