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Wednesday's Formula 1 news roundup

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Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Wednesday, January 13.
Sports Mole

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Wednesday, January 13.

Wednesday morning's Formula 1 news roundup

Sainz heads to Italy for Ferrari test

Carlos Sainz is en route to Maranello, where he is tipped to get his first taste of life at the wheel of a Ferrari with a test in the 2019 car.

The Spaniard told his fans on social media that "after a short time off, it's time to get back to work".

"Travelling to Maranello tomorrow to start preparing for the season ahead," Sainz, who is replacing quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, added.

An earlier seat fitting aside, it will mark the proper start to the 26-year-old's new career in red, as he admitted he has been able to do "relatively little" with Ferrari until now.

"Apart from important issues that could not be postponed, my contact with Ferrari has been minimal because I had to respect McLaren as much as possible," he told AS newspaper.

Prior to the season starting in Bahrain late March, Sainz will only get half of a single 3-day official test to acclimatise to Ferrari's 2021 car.

Therefore, team boss Mattia Binotto is reportedly organising a test at Fiorano for Sainz at the wheel of the 2019 car - the newest car allowed for testing by Formula 1.

"One and a half days is really very little," Binotto said. "We're going to do something for Carlos so that he can be integrated into the team more quickly, especially with regard to the work with the engineers and all of our processes.

"Part of the work will take place in the simulator, but in January we also want to give Sainz the opportunity to drive an old car," he added.

However, Binotto admitted that 2022 - when the sweeping new rules will arrive - is Ferrari's biggest priority.

"The 2022 season is more important than the 2021 season," the Italian admitted. "If we start 2022 as a catch-up year then it will be even more difficult to close the gap in 2023, so our priority is to create a car for 2022.

"I assume that we will be engaged in intensive development of the car this year only if serious problems arise with it or we realise that we can use the developments for 2022," said Binotto.

Zandvoort not worried as 2021 calendar changes

Dutch GP organisers remain confident they will be able to welcome spectators to Zandvoort's first F1 race in the modern era in September.

Jan Lammers, a former F1 driver who is now the Dutch GP's sporting director, said the postponement of Melbourne and the demise of the race in Shanghai does not affect Zandvoort.

"I doubt that in this situation anyone actually thought that Melbourne would take place in March," he told the Dutch publication NOS.

"Australia has tough measures to combat covid-19 but the change in the calendar does not affect us at Zandvoort in any way," he insisted.

Last year, Zandvoort was initially given a race date in May, but for 2021 the Dutch GP is scheduled to go ahead in September.

It is believed the later date boosts the Dutch GP's chances of going ahead, as Zandvoort last year declined to host a spectator-less 'ghost race' in the heart of the pandemic.

"We are glad that our race will take place in the second half of the season. Nothing threatens it on September 5," said Lammers.

"We originally planned to hold the GP in May, but this year it could have raised questions once again. It is unlikely that we would have been able to invite spectators to a race in May, so the date in September is fine with us."

More news from Formula 1:

Romain Grosjean's hands out of bandages six weeks after fireball crash
The extend of the 34-year-old Frenchman's injuries were revealed after he hit a steel barrier in November's Bahrain Grand Prix. Read more.

The key questions surrounding Formula One's revamped 2021 calendar
F1 bosses are aiming to put on 23 races this year. Read more.

F1 season to start in Bahrain as Australian, Chinese GPs postponed
The traditional curtain-raiser at Melbourne's Albert Park will move to November. Read more.

Judge 'suspends' new Brazil GP contract
A judge in Sao Paulo has thrown a spanner in the works of the new five-year deal between Formula 1 and the Interlagos circuit. Read more.

Quarantine rule forced Melbourne postponement
It was Australia's 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement that triggered the postponement of the season opening grand prix in Melbourne. Read more.

Imola hopes spectators can attend April race
Imola has beaten Portimao to the first revised race calendar for 2021, as Formula 1 confirms that Melbourne and Shanghai will not take place as scheduled. Read more. body check tags ::

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