Ahead of their F1 Grand Prix weekend debuts, Ferrari have given junior drivers Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman a run out at their iconic Fiorano test track, with the Formula 2 trio getting behind the wheel of a 2018-spec Ferrari SF71H.
Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman began preparations for their F1 practice debuts by testing two-year-old Ferrari cars at Fiorano.
Schumacher, the son of seven-time champion and Ferrari legend Michael, and Britain’s Ilott are the top two in this year’s F2 championship and are making their Practice One debuts with Alfa Romeo and Haas respectively at next week’s Eifel GP at the Nurburgring.
“It’s given me another opportunity to get another step closer to how the car behaves,” said Schumacher of his second experience driving an F1 car from the hybrid engine era.
“Now I have a very clear view of how I have to drive the car and I already now have a step closer to how it will be in Nurburgring. It does give me more confidence to arrive to the Nurburgring and know what I have to do.”
Schumacher and Ilott appeared in full F1 tests in Bahrain and Spain respectively last year but Wednesday’s Fiorano preparation session was the first time Shwartzman had driven an F1 car.
All three drivers are aged 21 and in the running for F1 seats at Ferrari-engined Alfa Romeo and Haas next season. With four races left in the F2 season, Schumacher leads Ilott by 22 points in the fight for the title, while series rookie Shwartzman is fifth.
“It was nice to complete about 40 laps in the SF71-H. What a great car,” said Ilott.
“It’s amazing the power these Formula 1 cars have and also the downforce you have. Really, really special and something I’ll remember for a very long time.”
About his debut F1 in Germany next Friday, the Briton added: “I don’t know exactly what to expect. Obviously you’ve got to approach it and do everything in the right way, but it should be really exciting and a great opportunity
“I’ve previously done the rookie test but this is a pretty different environment on a race weekend. With all 20 cars on track it should be quite exciting.”
Shwartzman will drive in opening practice at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on December 11.
The trio drove Ferrari’s car from two seasons ago which won six races and challenged for the world championship with Sebastian Vettel.
FIORANO : SCHUMACHER, ILOTT, SHWARTZMAN IN ACTION IN 2018 FERRARI CAR FIORANO : SCHUMACHER, ILOTT, SHWARTZMAN IN ACTION IN 2018 FERRARI CAR