Paul di Resta had a less-than-ideal start to his first Singapore Grand Prix weekend, completing only 21 laps over the course of the two Friday practice sessions.
The first session was cut short by 30 minutes whilst track repairs were carried out, and by a further 12 minutes after two red flag incidents. The Scot then suffered a technical problem in FP2, and could only complete 8 laps. He finished the day P13 on the timesheets.
“It wasn't the best of days because what I really needed was time on track to help me learn the circuit,” said di Resta. “The first session was cut short and in the second I had a hydraulic brake issue, which took most of the session to fix. So it means that I go into Saturday with limited running on the soft tyres and just one timed lap on the supersofts.
“It's not ideal because you need to build your confidence on a street circuit and find the limits because there is little margin for error. On the positive side Adrian has shown that the car seems to be on the pace and I felt quite happy during the limited running I did do on the soft tyres.”
Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil, by contrast, had a relatively trouble-free day. He was P7 in both sessions, and seemed quite happy with how his day had gone.
“I always enjoy street circuits and today's sessions went pretty well for me,” he said. “It usually takes a while to get back in the rhythm, especially on such a long lap as Singapore, but I got up to speed quite quickly. The general car balance has been good all day with just some understeer in the high and low speed corners to solve. By the time I was running on the supersofts the understeer issue was much better.
“We did some good work on both tyre compounds with some long runs in the second session. The supersofts obviously give a lot more grip, but the drop-off in performance after a few laps is quite big.”
Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director, said that Force India had done most of the necessary preparations today, despite the problems they faced.
“Slightly less track time than usual today during Friday practice, with the first session shortened whilst some damage to the kerbs was repaired, and with Paul’s second session restricted by downtime while the team worked on curing a brake system issue,” he noted. “Nevertheless, it was possible to conduct the usual tyre comparisons and evaluate some new aerodynamic components on the cars. Because we opted to run our race drivers in both sessions today, we’re confident we didn’t loose too much and can recover any lost ground tomorrow. This circuit remains very challenging in a lot of areas and with some hard work to do before Sunday we can look forward to an interesting race.”