Sebastian Vettel back in Ferrari for Mugello test before F1 2020 start
Vettel and Leclerc share Mugello running in Ferrari's 2018 car
Last Updated: 24/06/20 9:44am
Sebastian Vettel hit the track in a Formula 1 car on Tuesday for the first time since his Ferrari departure was confirmed, as the Scuderia stepped up their preparations for the 2020 season with a test at Mugello.
Ten days before Vettel and his F1 rivals return to action in Austria, the four-time champion was testing the 2018 car, the SF71-H, in the morning with Ferrari, following Mercedes and Renault's lead by running their two-year-old challenger before the delayed campaign gets underway.
Vettel, who will be replaced by Carlos Sainz at the end of the season, covered the equivalent of a Grand Prix distance during his stint before handing over to team-mate Charles Leclerc in the afternoon.
Ferrari said the test was 'deliberately run in the same working conditions the teams will experience in Austria', with mechanics and engineers working in masks and respecting social distancing in a modified garage layout.
'Sebastian and Charles also did the same when they changed over seats in the SF71-H at the lunch break.'
Ferrari also sported a '#WeRaceAsOne' message on their car, which Vettel nearly won a 2018 title in, on Tuesday - pledging their support to the F1's new initiative.
The track outing for Ferrari is of particular intrigue due to its location, with Mugello a strong contender to be added to the 2020 calendar. The Tuscany circuit is owned by Ferrari and may host a second Italian round.
"I was glad to get back in the cockpit after a break that was even longer than the usual winter one," said Vettel. "I was also very pleased to see all the guys from the team at last.
"It was great to once again get those feelings from a car and to do so at such a spectacular track. I really think Mugello deserves to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
"I hadn't driven it for eight years, so it took a few laps for me to get used to the track and then I really enjoyed myself."
Get set for F1's return live on Sky Sports
Seven months after the 2019 campaign concluded, Formula 1 finally gets back racing again from July 3-5 at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Eight summer races at six venues across Europe have been announced so far, with a further schedule stretching until December expected to be confirmed soon.
F1 is aiming for a season of between 15 and 18 races.
The confirmed 2020 F1 dates so far
|July 5||Austrian GP - Spielberg|
|July 12||Steiermark GP - Spielberg|
|July 19||Hungarian GP - Budapest|
|August 2||British GP - Silverstone|
|August 9||70th Anniversary GP - Silverstone|
|August 16||Spanish GP - Barcelona|
|August 30||Belgian GP - Spa-Francorchamps|
|September 6||Italian GP - Monza|
All races will be live on Sky Sports F1 - the only place to watch the whole season live.