Sahara Force India launched its 2018 Formula 1 season today with Development Driver Nikita Mazepin the first to experience the VJM11 in Barcelona.
Laps: 22 laps
Best time: 1:25.628
Position: P11 of 12
Nikita Mazepin: “We didn’t complete a huge number of laps today, but that’s often the case with a new car. The laps we did complete were positive: the car felt pretty similar to last year but has clearly taken some good steps forward. I felt very comfortable with the halo, but I lowered my seating position compared to last year and the visibility was good. We lost some of the afternoon resolving a sensor issue and then the weather deteriorated, which kept us in the garage.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “The first day with a new car is always a bit of a step into the unknown. We focussed on systems checks and aero mapping this morning as Nikita got his first impression of the new car. A few small teething problems with a sensor caused some brake cooling issues, which hampered the afternoon programme and limited our mileage. By the end of the day it was getting chilly and damp, and it was difficult to complete any meaningful running. Nikita did a good job and delivered detailed feedback as usual. We will pick up tomorrow with more aero mapping of the car as Esteban gets his first taste of the VJM11.”