Red Bull Racing wouldn't release Sebastian Vettel from his 2014 contract in time to make the Formula One tests for Ferrari earlier this week at Abu Dhabi, so he's doing the next best thing: piloting the F2012 car around Fiorano today.
Formula One regulations do not block currently signed drivers from running a two-year-old car or older in practice. This is why Red Bull's show cars are always a couple years old.
An inscription on Sebastian's helmet says "My first day at Ferrari" in Italian. He's trying, man. He's really trying.
It may not be test time in a current car or even one with a current V6 turbo power unit, but at least he's getting seat time in both the F2012 as well as a Ferrari 458 Italia road car. This F2012 run also allows Vettel to test out a seat fitting with Ferrari.
GPUpdate.nl put the following photos of the test day on Twitter this morning:
YouTube user Pucciolotube captured this video clip of the test, complete with that beloved Ferrari V8 wail:
Neither Sebastian Vettel or Scuderia Ferrari had a great season in Formula One last year, so they're both doing whatever they can in the offseason to make sure 2015 goes better.
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull nudged out the F2012 two tears ago for both a world driver's and constructor's championship. I'm guessing the "My first day" line on the helmet is to help smooth over this little nugget with Tifosi everywhere.