Sebastian Vettel returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car today for a test in a 2014 Ferrari at Fiorano.
It is unclear the exact motivation for the early test – which comes after the German spent a day in Maranello's wind tunnel – but it will either be to get a head-start on preparation for the forthcoming season or being used for promotional/sponsor reasons.
What is clear is that Ferrari is not permitted to try out any 2016 components on the F14-T under rules that outlaw testing of current cars, apart from demonstration events and promotional days.
Article 10.2 of F1's Sporting Regulations states: "Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) shall be defined as any track running time, not part of an Event, in which a competitor entered in the Championship participates (or in which a third party participates on behalf of a competitor or a supplier of a homologated power unit), using cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2012, 2013 or 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations.
"No competitor may sell or make available any such car to any third party without the prior authorisation of the FIA.
"TPC may only be carried out with cars built to the specification of the period and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose may be used."
Motorsport.com understands that Ferrari notified the FIA of its plans to test the 2014 car and was granted permission.
Vettel is not the first F1 driver to run in an F1 car this year, though, with Max Verstappen having completed a run down a mountain for a Red Bull promotional event last week.
After the Fiorano run, Vettel will take part in the Pirelli wet weather test next week before the first pre-season test takes place next month at Barcelona.
Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero