Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s new Formula 1 car is showing some “promising signs” during pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Leclerc completed 73 laps on his way to sixth overall on day two in Bahrain, having set his best time on the C5 tyre - the softest tyre in Pirelli’s range.

Asked for his first impression of Ferrari’s SF21, Leclerc replied: "Well the impressions was good again.

“Yesterday we went through all the programme in the morning, the conditions are very, very tricky. It's very warm, 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.

“There are some promising signs, but we can't know until the first qualifying.”

“I think there's been some work on that, and the first data that we have seen on track are correlating with the ones that we've had back in Maranello before this tests so this is already positive. 

“Then again to give a 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 on that.”

Ferrari had its worst season since 1980, finishing sixth in the 2020 constructors’ championship.

Leclerc believes Ferrari no longer has the “strange atmosphere” it endured during the lows of last year as it looks to move back up the Formula 1 pecking order.

“I think at first there was a strange atmosphere at first in 2020 where we realised the reality of things that was quite a lot worse than what we expected,” Leclerc added. 

 “From there was a time where it was not great but very quickly the mentality changed and there was a huge motivation to try and come back to where we want to be, and I think this didn't change from this year.

“With Carlos, he is bringing experience from other teams too, that he's very interesting and that he's also giving us new worlds to explore.

“So this is very interesting, but I guess the the mentality of the team itself is still as motivated as last year and is really willing to push to have better things and better days coming soon.”