Force India had what driver Adrian Sutil described as a ‘fairly normal’ day of practice in Monte Carlo as the team collected data on the two Pirelli tyre compounds and evaluated new aero components on the VJM04.
“A fairly normal day of Thursday practice in Monaco,” commented Sutil, who was ninth on the timesheets at the end of the two 90-minute sessions. “We continued running elements of the 2011 aero package we tried in Barcelona last week and it was quite positive so we will stick with this for the rest of the weekend. We did all the usual set-up work and found quite a nice balance by the end of the day.
“We ran with the super-soft (option tyre) in the afternoon, which we have used before in winter testing, but this was the first time we've used it at a race and in such warm temperatures. The grip is great to begin with but the degradation rate is quite high.”
Paul di Resta was pleased with his day as well, although a technical problem hampered his progress this afternoon. He finished the day down in P20.
“It was my first taste of Monaco in a Formula One car and I was pretty happy with how things went this morning,” he said. “The balance was quite good straight away, especially in the higher speed parts of the lap. Like any street circuit it's very bumpy here and we worked on making the car ride the bumps better as well as improving the aero balance.
“In the afternoon there was an issue with the car, which meant I lost drive and had to park up. So I lost an hour of running and didn't get to run the super-soft tyre.”
Chief Engineering Director Dominic Harlow thinks that the team can now build towards a good qualifying session on Saturday, and was pleased with the updates on the car.
“Our aerodynamic revisions for this event seem to be performing as expected, and the programme obviously involved working on the car in this configuration to improve the balance and adapt to the circuit,” he said. “Unfortunately Paul lost drive exiting the tunnel after about 15 laps in FP2, and so did not run the super-soft tyre. Adrian, however, ran a very good tyre evaluation programme in the afternoon and that will be a good basis for our race strategy. There’s more to come for qualifying, and we’ve now plenty of data to analyse with the additional time available tomorrow.”