HVM Racing was pleased and feeling confident after a successful two-day test session at Sebring International Raceway last week

It was the team's first opportunity to run their own car independently alongside the official Lotus engine development test car that Simona de Silvestro had been driving up till now.

"The team was pretty successful in its first outing with the car," said new team manager Shane Seneviratne. "We learned a lot about the chassis and engine package."

"We were able to get two good days of running," added team owner Keith Wiggins. "Most of the time here was spent on engine mapping and testing, but we also made solid progress with our first opportunity to work with the HVM-specific chassis."

As for the view from the cockpit, de Silvestro herself was equally optimistic: "I think it was a good first test with the HVM car," she said. "Everybody was in race mode and we made a lot of improvements."

"Simona, as usual, was very good with feedback which has been instrumental in developing the car," was the praise from her boss, Seneviratne. "I'd like to thank everyone on the team for their hard work. It's been a difficult month and I appreciate all their efforts."

At this point - less than a month away from the first race of the season at St Petersburg on March 25 - time is very much of the essence, and the team were under no illusions about just how much work there was still to undertake.

"Obviously there's still a lot to do in a small amount of time," agreed Wiggins. "We're still in the early days with plenty of development to do, but we've had a very good start."

De Silvestro added that "We still have a long way to go, but I think if we keep progressing like we did these two days we should be ready for St. Pete."

The team will next be involved in this week's testing at Barber Motorsports Park.