Charles Leclerc says that he is expecting his post-season test with Ferrari in Abu Dhabi to be emotional. It will mark the first time the Monegasque driver will get behind the wheel of a Ferrari car since the announcement that he would join full-time in 2019.
Leclerc has previous experience testing for Ferrari, including a Pirelli tyre test at Paul Ricard earlier this year. As he prepares for his final race for Sauber, he admits that the upcoming test, which is hosted by Pirelli, will be a special experience for him.
"It's going to be pretty special to go for the first time as a race driver in an official test in a Ferrari, I think it will be quite emotional,” Leclerc said. "It's two different teams and it’s always difficult, I always struggle to compare two cars because they have different balances and are driven differently. So it’s more than only the car, but I'm definitely looking forward to trying it."
While Leclerc will step into the Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, whose seat he will take at the Scuderia outfit next year, will drive the Sauber ahead of his full switch in 2019.
A series of other drivers who are making team switches for next season will test with their new squad at the Yas Marina Circuit, including Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso, Carlos Sainz for McLaren and Lance Stroll for Force India.
Renault has confirmed that Artem Markelov will take part in the test alongside Nico Hulkenberg, as Red Bull has blocked Daniel Ricciardo from an early exit to the Enstone squad ahead of his swap for the 2019 season.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing