Will Stevens says he is much more comfortable in the Caterham having carried out two days of testing in Abu Dhabi following his grand prix debut.
Caterham signed Stevens to race alongside Kamui Kobayashi for its return to the F1 grid at the Yas Marina Circuit
for the final race of the seaosn. Having not driven the Caterham since Silverstone, Stevens had a lot to learn throughout his first grand prix weekend but then carried out two days of testing at the same venue and says he knows how to get the most out of the car as a result.
“Looking to the test it was nice to have two days of just getting used to the car and having a bit of fun out there and getting the car moving around more and getting on the limit,” Stevens told Crash.net
. “Now I feel really comfortable in the car, the two days have run really smoothly and apart from the end where we had a small issue reliability-wise we've been mega all weekend and that's exactly what I needed.
“All we planned to do was a lot of laps. I got used to the 2015 tyres, which is good for me if I am here next year. Overall it's been a great experience, it's nice to be able to say that I've done my first grand prix. I just need to thank Caterham and everyone from the crowdfund who got the team here and everyone who's behind me as well because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. Overall it's been a great week.”
And Stevens admitted the progress he had made during his two days of testing had left him wanting to know how he would perform over a race weekend if given another chance.
“I would love to be able to do qualy and the race again now, I think it would be a lot different. There's nothing like doing two days in the car and getting to know the tyres. For me I think that's the hardest thing, it's knowing how hard you can push on these tyres and when to push and the warm-up procedure and things like that because that's where you find the extra little bit from.
“I feel at the end I was on the limit and I was getting the most out of the car, so that's the hardest bit to get used to. Especially on a weekend with the pressure of the weekend and the limited running you get. Even though you do get quite a lot, we missed a lot of FP1 which set me back but I thought we made up for it quite well through FP2 and FP3 with the performance runs we did.
“So we built up to it the right way, but I'd love to see how qualy would go now compared to what it was. Obviously Kamui's very experienced and he's quick so I'm sure where he had the car was pretty at the limit of what it could do, so I'd feel a lot more confident if I could do the race again.”