Paul di Resta ended the Jerez test at the bottom of the timesheets after a front-left suspension failure brought an early end to the final day of the test session in Southern Spain.
However, the Force India driver still completed 99 laps and, as he pointed out at the end of the day, they are not, at this stage in the pre-season, going for good laptimes.
“Another productive day with a lot more miles on the car,” summarised the Scot. “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, explained what the team were focusing on today. “Today’s objective was increasing the mileage on the VJM04 by carrying out some race run simulations,” he said. “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.”
The team return to the track in Barcelona on Friday 18th February. Di Resta will be in the VJM04 for the first two days and Adrian Sutil will takeover for days three and four.