'Sorry if I woke you up!' Formula 1 ace Charles Leclerc drives his Ferrari F1 car through the streets of Maranello
French F1 star Charles Leclerc decided to use his company car to take himself to work as he drive his Ferrari F1 car from the team's Maranello base through the streets of the Italian town to the team's test track at Fiorano.
The tranquil morning silence in Maranello was broken by the unmistakable roar of a Ferrari F1 car as Leclerc fired up the engine of his famous red racer and took to the streets of the Italian town as he drove to the team's Fiorano test circuit for a pre-season shakedown test.
The drive represented the first time Ferrari had started their F1 car since the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the Formula 1 season – and all on-track activity – in March.
The 22-year-old Frenchman's unique drive on the streets of Ferrari's home town made history, with Leclerc becoming the first driver from the modern F1 era to drive an F1 car through the streets of the town, which has become famous as the home of the world-renowned racing marque.
Leclerc shared a photo of himself driving the car through the gates of the Ferrari facility, with the caption, "Good morning Maranello! Sorry if I woke you up this morning, I was just going to work."
With sport gradually returning to action as pandemic restrictions beginning to ease, Formula 1 has announced an initial eight-round calendar, starting with a double-header at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on back-to-back weekends on July 5 and 12.
The F1 circus then rolls on to Hungary the following weekend before landing in Great Britain for another double-header at Silverstone on August 2 and 9.
The season will then move on to Spain, Belgium and Italy, where Leclerc is expected to receive colossal support at the famous Monza circuit from Ferrari's legion of fans, the "Tifosi", after he won the race for the Italian manufacturer in 2019.
"I don't normally like getting up early, but this morning there was a great reason to do so," said Leclerc, who has been staying sharp by taking part in virtual racing, including the recent Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual race, which took place last weekend.
"It was exciting to get back in the car today, particularly on such a special route. Being back in the cockpit felt like coming home again.
"It seemed like a fun way of saying we are ready to get back on track."