Paul Di Resta doesn't feel the packing order of the Formula One teams is any clearer after today's two free practice sessions in Melbourne. The Force India driver was 13th overall but with both sessions affected by rain, few concrete conclusions can be drawn from the lap times.
The Scotsman was quietly satisfied with the performance of the VJM05 as the day unfolded but admits he won't know how quick it truly is until tomorrow.
“Difficult to say too much about the first or second session because the conditions were so inconsistent with the rain showers. Even so, we made the best of it and focussed on assessing the aero package we have here and managed to learn a few things. We also made some set-up changes between the two sessions and the car felt better in the evening, so that was positive. The difficult thing is that we didn't really get an impression of where everybody is in terms of performance, so there are still lots of unknowns going into tomorrow.”
Teammate Nico Hulkenberg came within a tenth of a second of topping FP2 before being pipped by Michael Schumacher although conditions weren't as favourable as in the morning. The German refused to get too excited but was happy with the start the team had made.
“Both FP1 and FP2 had mixed conditions, especially FP2 with the heavy rain, which arrived just before the start of the session. But we made the best of it and I ran on the full wets, the intermediates and the soft tyres when the track had dried out. It's difficult to read much from the times because not everyone ran the soft tyres and there were lots of different fuel loads, but the main thing for me is that I have a good feeling with the car already.”
Despite the weather, Chief Engineer Jakob Andreasen didn't feel the day was a complete write-off and that the dry weather running provided useful data.
“On days like this you just have to be patient and wait for the right opportunities, but it's better to play the waiting game than run when the conditions are not ideal. Overall I think we were on track at the right times and on the right tyres, and it's always worth going out even if there's just a small thing you can learn. When we were on track we did some work evaluating our aero package and got some useful data. The most important thing is that we made the most of the dry periods to get the drivers into the rhythm of the track.”