Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says he had to put his emotions aside and concentrate on the job at hand as he topped the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing. 

Leclerc impressed in his first official appearance for the Scuderia, completing a total of 157 laps on his way to posting the fastest time on Tuesday and continuing Ferrari’s strong start to winter testing in Barcelona

The 21-year-old Monegasque, who has graduated to Ferrari following an impressive rookie campaign with Sauber in 2018, got within a tenth of the best time managed by four-times world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel on the first day.

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“I am very happy with the way today went,” Leclerc said. 

“Despite some red flag interruptions, we were able to get through all our programme and to do 157 laps, which has produced a lot of useful data. 

“In terms of feeling, I quickly felt comfortable with the SF90 and I have to say I really enjoyed myself. 

“There’s always going to be some emotion when you get into a Ferrari, but today I put that to one side because I had a job to do for the team. 

“Let’s hope we keep going like this over the next few days, because it’s important to make the most of the few on-track testing opportunities we have.”

Vettel, who will return to the cockpit of the SF90 to carry out Ferrari’s testing duties on Wednesday, insisted he will have to take his new teammate “very seriously” in 2019, adding he views him as a “full rival” in the title race. 

The German described his first day of running in Ferrari’s 2019 challenger as “close to perfection” on Monday, with the teams promising start catching the attention of several of its rivals, including Mercedes.

 

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