Paul di Resta professed himself satisfied with progress at the end of his first day behind the wheel of Force India's new VJM04 at Jerez, even if he did encounter difficulties in getting his brakes up to temperature that culminated in a trip into the gravel trap.
Following a year spent as reserve driver for the Silverstone-based squad, di Resta will make his grand prix bow for Force India this season alongside Adrian Sutil, and he completed 64 laps of the southern Spanish circuit in perfect testing conditions, taking the VJM04's total running since its debut on Thursday to almost 700 kilometres.
The Scot picked up from where Sutil had left off the previous day in concentrating his efforts on tyre evaluation and on establishing baseline set-ups for the remainder of the testing programme, and he wound up tenth on the final timesheets, just over two-and-a-half seconds shy of the outright pace.
“Today was really about me getting used to the new car, plus getting as much information about the new tyres and set-up options as possible,” reported the 24-year-old. “We've still got a bit of work to do, but today was about determining the right way to go.
“We did find that there were a couple of issues with getting temperature into the brakes on some set-ups, and on the final run of the day I locked up into Turn Nine and went off into the gravel. Overall, though, I think we can be fairly positive with the progress we've made over the past couple of days and have a good idea of where we can go tomorrow.”
“Today was Paul's first opportunity to drive the VJM04, so it was very much about acclimatisation to the car and looking at various set-up options,” added FIF1 circuit engineering director, Dominic Harlow. “We continued to learn about the car, and found some good and some bad directions.
“Unfortunately, Paul locked the brakes at T9 on his final outing and had a small spin. There wasn't any damage, but with another red flag almost immediately afterwards there wasn't time to continue so we missed a few laps. Tomorrow, Paul will conclude the test, taking the opportunity to try the DRS [Drag Reduction System] rear wing in simulated race mode during the morning and further set-up work planned for the afternoon.”
To see the testing times in full, click here