Charles Leclerc says his first outing as an official Ferrari Formula 1 driver in next week’s Abu Dhabi test will be an “emotional” experience.

Leclerc will get behind the wheel of Ferrari’s 2018 challenger - the SFH71 - during the two-day post Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.

The Monegasque has tested for Ferrari before, including a filming day at Monza and a Pirelli tyre evaluation run at Paul Ricard which shortly followed the announcement he will partner Sebastian Vettel at the Scuderia for 2019.

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"It's going to be pretty special to go for the first time as a race driver in an official test in a Ferrari, I think it will be quite emotional,” Leclerc said.

"It's two different teams and it’s always difficult, I always struggle to compare two cars because they have different balances and are driven differently.

"So it’s more than only the car, but I'm definitely looking forward to trying it."

Leclerc will replace Kimi Raikkonen at the test, with the Finn making his first appearance for Sauber since his return to the team was confirmed earlier this year.

A number of drivers will be provided with their first taste of their new teams at the Yas Marina test, with Renault releasing Carlos Sainz early to join new teammate Lando Norris at McLaren.

The returning Robert Kubica will also drive for Williams, alongside newly-crowned F2 champion George Russell in the other confirmed test line-up.

Daniel Ricciardo is one driver who won’t be testing for his 2019 team after Red Bull rejected an early switch to Renault. It is expected that Nico Hulkenberg and development driver Artem Markelov will complete Renault's test programme. 



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