Sahara Force India made the most of sunny conditions in Monza to complete its free practice programme for the Italian Grand Prix.
Paul Di Resta: “The car seems to be relatively well balanced, but we’ve not been able to break into the top ten yet. So we need to work away tonight to try and improve things a bit more. Making Q3 tomorrow is the big target, which is definitely achievable. The field looks quite spread out here, certainly compared to some other races, but we seem to be close to McLaren. The tyres are performing in line with our predictions and we’ve got plenty of data to go through tonight.”
Adrian Sutil: “Monza is an unusual track so it’s been quite a challenge to get on top of the car today. There’s certainly a lot to look at tonight because we need to improve the car under braking and make it easier to drive as I’m lacking overall grip at the moment. For the tyres we have the data we need and the long run performance looked okay.”
James Calado: “Amazing – that’s the only word I can use to describe the day. It took a while to get used to the car again, but once I was familiar with everything I was able to drive consistently and set some reasonable lap times. The balance felt good and everything ran smoothly during the session. I learned a lot and hopefully got some good data for the team. I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahara Force India for the opportunity and I’m already looking forward to getting back in the car later in the year.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “A fairly typical Friday at Monza as we worked through our programme without any issues. James enjoyed his first free practice outing and did a great job. He was tasked with some suspension work and delivered a good performance with detailed feedback – which is just what we needed. We ran a new low downforce rear wing on the cars today, one that we first used in Spa practice, and recoded lots of aero data to help us find the optimum set-up. As for outright performance, it’s hard to know exactly where we stand, but we will certainly be aiming for the top ten come tomorrow afternoon.”