Sainz and Schumacher wait their turn as Ferrari start five-day test

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Sakhir Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - December 5, 2020 McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr. after qualifying in eighth position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

(Reuters) - Ferrari began five days of testing at their Fiorano track on Monday with new signing Carlos Sainz on hand before his first laps with the Formula One team later in the week.

The Spaniard, who has joined from McLaren, will drive the 2018 SF71H on Wednesday and Thursday morning, giving him a chance to work with his race crew and engineers for the coming season.

The car is the one used by Charles Leclerc and now-departed Sebastian Vettel before the coronavirus pandemic-delayed start of last season.

Mick Schumacher, who makes his F1 race debut with Ferrari-powered Haas this year, also tested it in September and the son of Ferrari great Michael will be back again on Thursday and Friday.

Leclerc, who has been isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 this month, will test on Tuesday.

Three Academy youngsters took turns behind the wheel on Monday, with former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi's son Giuliano joined by New Zealander Marcus Armstrong and Russian Robert Shwartzman.

The test was a first for Alesi, whose father won the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix for Ferrari and retired in 2001, and Armstrong.

Schumacher, Formula Two champion last year, will hand over to Britain's F2 runner-up and new Ferrari test driver Callum Ilott on Friday afternoon.

Formula One teams can test privately with cars more than two seasons old. Official pre-season testing has been reduced this year to three days in Bahrain, instead of Spain, from March 12-14.

The season starts in Bahrain on March 28.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Ken Ferris)

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