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Calado: It was unbelievable!
18 July 2013
James Calado admitted it was an 'unbelievable experience' when he hit the track with Sahara Force India to turn his first laps in an F1 car on Wednesday.
The GP2 front-runner was in impressive form during his half-day at the wheel of the VJM06, setting the quickest time during the morning before handing the car over to Paul di Resta in the afternoon.
While he had previously completed a straight-line run with the team, this week's test marked his first opportunity to run a full programme in the car and he admitted it was a dream come true to get out on track in the car.
"It was an unbelievable experience, I really cannot put it into words," he told
. "After a few induction laps and things the novelty of the brakes and the grip started to wear off and I was able to give some good feedback and set some reasonable lap times which for my first time is pretty impressive.
"It is just nice to get an initial go and on my first time in one of these things you can't expect anything too big and you have to take it steady. It is nice to be fast, but you don't know what anyone else is doing and what tyres they are on or anything.
"But I have settled in and obviously doing the straight-line test was nice as I had already started to build a relationship with this team up to the test."
Calado, who is running again this morning [Thursday], is widely believed to be in the running for a reserve driver role with the Silverstone-based squad, which has been in the hunt for a third driver following Jules Bianchi's move to Marussia at the start of the year.
However, the 24-year-old insisted that he was fully aware of how tough it would be to break into F1 despite his performance on track and would keep working hard to try and reach his goal.
"Over the years it has got tougher with money being a big factor, but I am a believer that talent does get you through and all I can do is as good a job as I can both in the GP2 car and when I get days like this," he said. "I am not thinking about the future too much, I know it is hard but I can only do the best I can.
"I am here to just do the Young Driver Test and I was able to give quite accurate feedback on the tyres within ten laps which was quicker than I expected. I am here to do a good job and hopefully we can learn a few things from myself and those can then get transferred onto Paul or Adrian set up wise.
"They have brought up young drivers in the past and have good experience with that and I am another one. I am here to just do as good a job as I can and to help the team and to get a chance is just lovely."
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