Paul di Resta brought the debut test of the Force India F1 Team’s VJM04 to a close at the Circuito de Jerez today. The 24-year-old Scot, who makes his F1 race debut in Bahrain next month, worked constructively through a programme designed to gather further set-up and tyre data to determine the direction for the second VJM04 test in Barcelona later this week. During the installation laps the team also made preliminary checks on the new drag reduction system, or moveable rear wing, before its full introduction at the next test.
On course with the test plan, Paul put in a further 400km to bring the car’s total mileage so far to more than 1,100km, although the day’s running ended earlier than expected when Paul suffered a front left suspension failure on his planned penultimate run of the day.
The team will be back in action from 18 – 21 February at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona. Paul will be out on days one and two, with Adrian Sutil taking over on days three and four.
Paul di Resta
Another productive day with a lot more miles on the car. At the moment that’s what it’s all about – giving ourselves a clear direction and getting as much data as we can on the performance of the new car on different fuel loads. We’re not going for times, rather fine-tuning the balance and set-up, plus getting to grips with a few development items we will use at the next test, including the DRS [drag reduction system]. Towards the end of the day we found a good path for the next test and have something positive to build on next week. Unfortunately we couldn’t do our final run of the day when something broke on the front of the car and I skidded into the gravel. It was a shame and the team will look at it now, but until that point we were improving with each run.
Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
Today’s objective was increasing the mileage on the VJM04 by carrying out some race run simulations. The weather was slightly blustery and so performance running was difficult, and we also ran through a variety of systems tests as well as using the DRS wing for the first time, which appears to be working well. The session was cut short with a mechanical failure. Fortunately the car finished up in the gravel without too much damage, but obviously we will make sure we understand the problem and implement a fix as soon as possible.
Driver: Paul di Resta
Track: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Best lap time: 1:23.111
Laps completed: 99
Kilometres completed: 438km
Air temperature: High of 17 C
Track temperature: High of 20 C
Weather: Bright and sunny