Sebastian Vettel has returned to action with Ferrari conducting a test with its 2018 Formula 1 car at Mugello today.

In what is his first on-track appearance since Barcelona pre-season testing concluded at the end of February, Vettel sampled the SF71H at the Mugello circuit on Tuesday morning to get back up to speed ahead of the start of the delayed 2020 season next month.

It was also the first time the four-time world champion had driven for Ferrari since it was announced he will leave the team upon the expiry of his current contract at the end of the year.

Vettel completed running in Ferrari’s SF71H - which won six races in 2018 - before Charles Leclerc takes over driving duties this afternoon.

Leclerc briefly returned to the wheel of F1 machinery last week in an unusual demonstration run that saw him drive Ferrari’s 2020 challenger - the SF1000 - through the streets of Maranello.

But the Scuderia’s private test day at Mugello marks its official shakedown event prior to the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5.

The venue is being considered as a potential venue for staging a second race in Italy during the 2020 world championship.

Ferrari’s 2018 car is running with the #WeRaceAsOne hashtag on its suspension following the launch of F1’s new diversity and equality task force on Monday.

A number of teams have conducted private test runs before the heavily-delayed season gets underway, with Mercedes and Renault both completing tests in 2018-spec machinery last week at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring respectively.

Racing Point was the first team to shake down its 2020 car last week at the home of the British Grand Prix, while AlphaTauri and Red Bull are expected to carry out similar tests in the coming days at Imola and Silverstone.

McLaren and Haas have each confirmed they will not carry out any on-track running before the first race in Austria.

 

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