Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz remained coy over speculation he suffered a crash while carrying out a test for Pirelli’s 18-inch Formula 1 tyre development at Jerez.

The Spaniard, who made his debut outing for Ferrari during a private test at Fiorano in a 2018-specification SF71H in January, had his latest run in Ferrari F1 machinery as he helped Pirelli conduct its first test running of the year earlier this week at Jerez.

While experiencing Pirelli’s prototype 18-inch tyres - which are set for introduction in 2022 - for the first time, it was rumoured that Sainz had at one stage crashed Ferrari’s mule car. But he refused to be drawn on specifics when asked if the speculation was indeed true, replying: "Obviously Pirelli testing is completely private.

"So honestly, answering questions that are coming from somewhere else is difficult for me because I don't know how much we can tell contractually about what happened in the test.

“But if something happened that I’m not going to tell you, it was very minor.”

Together, Sainz and Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc completed over 300 laps of the Spanish circuit for Pirelli across the three-day test. And Sainz was left encouraged by his early experience of running on the new tyre.

“The first signs for me, at least personally the first impression has been positive,” he said.

“It has been relatively positive regarding still taking into account how young the project is of the 18 inch. How little testing we have done so far. But you can definitely start feeling some differences.

“There are definitely some things to keep developing, but the first signs in the first feeling have been relatively positive. We need to wait until you fit those tires into next year’s car which is going to be a completely different animal. But the first impressions with a mule car has been positive.”

Leclerc agreed with Sainz’s summary, adding: “I have the same opinion as Carlos on the tyres.

"We tried different things and to be honest, there are some positive things that came out of it. So, this is good.

"I believe that there's still quite a bit of work, but it went in the right direction and this is a good thing."