Force India F1 man Adrian Sutil enjoyed a 'fairly normal day' of practice yesterday ahead of this weekend's F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
Sutil finished up ninth on the combined times [see separate story - click here
] and speaking following the two sessions, he noted he was happy with the new aero updates and with set-up of his Mercedes-powered VJM04.
“A fairly normal day of Thursday practice in Monaco. We continued running elements of the 2011 aero package we tried in Barcelona last week and it was quite positive so we will stick with this for the rest of the weekend,” he reflected.
“We did all the usual set-up work and found quite a nice balance by the end of the day. We ran with the super-soft (option tyre) in the afternoon, which we have used before in winter testing, but this was the first time we've used it at a race and in such warm temperatures. The grip is great to begin with but the degradation rate is quite high.”
Paul di Resta meanwhile had a more frustrating day in the sister VJM04 and missed two-thirds of the second session due to a mechanical issue. He ended up 20th on the combined times.
“It was my first taste of Monaco in a F1 car and I was pretty happy with how things went this morning,” said the Brit. “The balance was quite good straight away, especially in the higher speed parts of the lap. Like any street circuit it's very bumpy here and we worked on making the car ride the bumps better as well as improving the aero balance.
“In the afternoon there was an issue with the car, which meant I lost drive and had to park up. So I lost an hour of running and didn't get to run the super-soft tyre.”
“A typical Thursday in Monaco with times falling through the two sessions as more laps are run,” summed-up Dominic Harlow, Force India's director of circuit engineering. “Our aerodynamic revisions for this event seem to be performing as expected, and the programme obviously involved working on the car in this configuration to improve the balance and adapt to the circuit.
“Unfortunately Paul lost drive exiting the tunnel after about 15 laps in FP2, and so did not run the super-soft tyre. Adrian, however, ran a very good tyre evaluation programme in the afternoon and that will be a good basis for our race strategy. There's more to come for qualifying, and we've now plenty of data to analyse with the additional time available tomorrow.”