The Force India F1 Team’s 2011 challenger, the VJM04, completed its first-ever laps today, with Adrian Sutil on driving duties at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain. Today proved to be a successful debut, with the major systems checks completed and new components shaken down. After installation laps in the morning, Adrian gradually increased the lengths of his runs and clocked up 28 laps in total over the day.
Adrian will continue in the car tomorrow with the objective of running through further checks before moving onto performance work in the afternoon.
Paul di Resta will get his first outing in the new car on Saturday.
A successful first day of testing for the new car – a big well done to all the team. Out of the box it runs well and feels generally better than the 2010 car in every area. We had a good baseline set-up and balance, already the car is very smooth, which is always positive as then you can focus on improving performance. Despite a bit of downtime this morning with a problem with the floor we could still do 28 laps, which isn’t too bad for a new car, and got in all our baseline runs. I’ve got a good feeling and tomorrow we’re going to aim to put in some more laps, longer runs and look at different tyre compounds. It’s too early to say where we are, but at this stage in testing I think we can be quite pleased and proud that the hard work everyone back in the factory and wind tunnel has – so far – paid off.
Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
Today was the roll out for VJM04, and as such we were looking to install and shakedown the car whilst increasing our run lengths and looking to reach stabilised temperatures. The plan from there was to begin taking measurements and adjusting the car into our normal operating envelope and perhaps starting to sweep some set-up and control parameters. We lost a few hours today with a problem with the exhaust blast shields, which required some ingenuity to solve, but once that was done we covered the first of our objectives and completed just over 120km with no further issues. It was great to see the new car on track, and we have made a positive start to the test.
Driver: Adrian Sutil
Track: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Best lap time: 1:23.472
Laps completed: 28
Kilometres completed: 124km
Air temperature: High of 23 C
Track temperature: High of 28 C
Weather: Bright and sunny