Alfonso Celis Jr: “The car was perfect today”

Alfonso Celis Jr was delighted with his first day in the Sahara Force India VJM09 as the Mexican teenager completed 58 untroubled laps of the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday.

The nineteen-year-old test driver had the honour or debuting the car ahead of race drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, and finished the day with the fifth fastest time of 1m26.298s, just 1.359s down on the pace set by Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari.

“I’m feeling very happy with how things went today,” revealed Celis Jr. “The start of the day was special when we launched the VJM09 and it was a big honour to be the first to drive the car.

“It was only my second day in a Formula One car, but I was able to enjoy the experience more than last time because I knew what to expect and I had a bit more confidence. The car was perfect today and I want to say a big ‘well done’ to everybody in the team for all their work over the winter to deliver this car.

“We managed to work through the whole plan with good reliability. I could not think of a better way to start the season and I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car on Thursday.”