Charles Leclerc was quite positive when questioned about Ferrari's 2021 challenger. Although the conditions were a tad warm and windy to get a clear picture of where they stack up, early signs seem favourable, according to the Monegasque driver.
Following his first run with the car, Charles Leclerc was questioned by the media about his overall feeling. He said:
"The impressions were good again. Yesterday, we went through all the programme in the morning, but the conditions are very, very tricky. It's very warm and very windy, so it's very difficult to make a comparison with last year for now. And it's all relative to the others; how much they improved compared to us. But yeah, there are some promising signs, but we can't know until the first qualy."
"I think there's been some work on that, and the first data that we have seen on track is correlating with the ones that we've had back in Maranello before this test, so this is already positive. Then again, to give feedback or a feeling on the car now in those conditions is very, very difficult. But to see that we made some work on it and that the data is correlating well with the ones that we have in Maranello is already a good sign (of) that."
When quizzed on the power-unit performance, Charles Leclerc sounded positive on that front as well. "Everything feels quite good", he said. "But again, it's very difficult to comment now, nobody's pushing everything to its limit, especially in these conditions."
"So for now, it's early days. But everything feels good and, as I said, stacks up with what we expected."
Charles Leclerc and Ferrari keeping a low profile at the pre-season test
Ferrari has kept a low profile throughout the pre-season testing, unlike the Ferrari of old that would, more often than not, top the timesheets. The team completed as many as 129 laps on the second day, with Charles Leclerc completing 73 of them and finishing with the fifth-fastest laptime of the pre-season test.
It's safe to say that the Ferrari power-unit has not made a drastic jump in competitiveness and the 2021 season will most likely feature Ferrari in the midfield. Where the team features and how competitive the car is remain big questions, the answers to which we'll only begin to get at the season-opener in Bahrain.