Paul di Resta expressed himself satisfied with his first outing with Force India on a grand prix weekend, having completed the first free practice session of the Australian Grand Prix in place of Adrian Sutil.
The German was stood down as Force India made good on its promise to give di Resta a taste of the action at the majority of races this season - team-mate Tonio Liuzzi will miss first practice in Malaysia next weekend - and the Scot was pleased to have got his maiden run out of the way.
The team's programme for all three drivers included, as usual for a Friday, a mix of baseline running, tyre evaluation and longer heavy fuel runs and, although the notoriously fickle Melbourne weather threw in occasional rain showers, di Resta was delighted to have made a contribution to the pre-race preparation.
"I was pretty nervous going into the session, as Albert Park is one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar," the youngster admitted, "It's half street, half track, so I had to build the programme from the bottom to the top. I had to feel comfortable in the car too, particularly as I've not had the chance to drive it in the dry after the wet testing we had over the winter, so it was something new. I wouldn't say it was easy, as it was always going to be quite challenging, but, once the track rubbered in, I was able to push myself beyond my comfortable limits.
"There's not much margin for error and I had to be careful in some sectors as the walls get pretty close here, but the main job was to get the mileage, learn the track and, most importantly, try and build a base for the drivers in the race with the optimum set-up. It's a good starting block for both me and, I hope, the team this weekend."
di Resta ended his session just three-tenths from Liuzzi's pace, and ahead of Michael Schumacher, and later admitted that, having got a taste for Albert Park, it was hard to hand the car back to Sutil for the late afternoon session. The German then had to contend with the worst of the conditions, making his task a little harder as he attempted to play catch-up in readiness for Saturday's qualifying session.
"The rain in the second session was not ideal, particularly as I had sat out the first session, but we did what we could and I think overall the findings were very positive," he reported, "At the start of the session, we did some running with the harder tyre compound and then with the softer. We also tried out the intermediate tyre when the circuit was wetter. Everything seems to be working okay and we could get all the information we wanted today. I still have a good feeling about this weekend and I would like to better the result we had in Bahrain."