Alfonso Celis Jr says he can come away from his two-day stint in the Force India VJM09 feeling satisfied after a productive and trouble-free outing for the team.
Given the chance to debut the new Force India chassis on Monday, Celis Jr returned to the car today to continue development work on the Mercedes-powered VJM09, totting up 75 laps and ending the day with the third fastest time.
Getting more time in the car than race drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg this week, who will nonetheless have exclusive use of the car at the next test, Celis Jr feels he has acquired an invaluable amount experience.
“The confidence is being developed day by day, run by run in the car,” the Mexican said. “I started to try out the different tyre options today - I tried to run on the medium, the soft and the super softs, its quite a lot of information to get to my brain.
“I am still learning step by step and it has been an amazing opportunity to drive the two days. For me as a rookie driver it is a big plus. We are in the right direction as a team and to develop myself.”
Indeed, Celis admits there was some pressure for him to adapt to the rigours of an F1 car, forge ahead with development and keep it pointing in the right direction.
“It is obvious in the first days we don't have a lot of spares or parts, they are still to be received here so I had the pressure of not crashing the gravel or going to the gravel. We are still developing the only car we have, so there is a bit of pressure to keep always a margin to avoid mistakes.
“That is the most important thing – first the car never broke down, reliability is very good and I haven't put it in the gravel. Two very positive things and we achieved the data we wanted to gather.”
Celis will get a handful of Friday FP1 outings in 2016, though his schedule is yet to be determined.