Feb.8 (Force India) Sahara Force India completed a second day of work in Jerez as new reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, enjoyed his first run in the VJM05. In the afternoon Paul Di Resta returned to the cockpit to wrap up his time in the car this week.
The programme saw a continuation of yesterday’s work as the team continued to collect data and evaluated test items. As well as systems checks and further set-up evaluation, the team also carried out some aero work.
Jules is back in action tomorrow morning before he hands over to Nico Hulkenberg in the afternoon.
Jules Bianchi: “It was a really good morning and great to get my chance in the new car so early on. There was a lot to get used to, especially the steering wheel and remembering where all the switches are, but it didn’t take too long before I felt happy in the car. It may only have been half a day, but the team asked me to do quite a lot of things and we managed to complete almost 50 laps before lunch. For me this year is all about learning and helping the team as much as I can, so today was important for that and getting to know the team. It’s great that I am back in the car tomorrow and I will try and get closer to the limit, because it’s important preparation for my Friday practice running this year.”
Paul Di Resta: “Half a day, but quite intense: 69 laps in just over three hours, which is a really good effort. But it was also one of the more difficult days because the wind seemed to get very strong from midday onwards, which made driving the car very tricky. However, we managed to get a clear direction on a couple of set-up changes so that’s given us an indication of the areas we should explore over the coming weeks. After 101 laps yesterday and 115 today, we’ve clearly built a good, strong car, but now it’s about getting into the detail, going over the data and getting ready for Barcelona.”
Andrew Green, Technical Director
“This morning was our first chance to work with Jules, so we focussed on getting him comfortable and familiar with all the systems on the car. He acclimatised quickly and soon found his rhythm, which meant we could push ahead with the aero work we had planned for this morning. He did an excellent job, worked well with the engineers and has settled into the team.
“In the afternoon session, Paul evaluated some set-up options while running with different tyre compounds: soft, medium and hard. The windy track conditions made that quite challenging, but we made the best of it and managed to get an early indication of where we should focus our efforts to extract performance from the car.”