Alfonso Celis Jr: “I am getting much closer to the pace I want to show”

Credit: Octane Photographic

Sahara Force India Reserve Driver Alfonso Celis Jr was behind the wheel of the VJM09 for a second day, as the in-season test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continued on Wednesday.

The fact that the young Mexican covered both days of running was a cause for contention for Sergio Perez, who felt it was not in the best interests of the team to have neither of their current drivers on board to make any evaluations, or test out any of the new parts the squad may implement going forward. Nevertheless, Celis Jr got through the programme of aero work and high fuel running, as well as some end of day performance runs whilst completing 103 laps in the VJM09 on day two.

It was a positive test for the Silverstone based squad with no reliability issues becoming apparent, and it also gave their young reserve driver valuable experience in an F1 machine. Celis Jr, who is hopeful of gaining a seat in F1 next season, was pleased with his efforts across the two days.

“I am very pleased with the work I was able to do during these two days.” said Celis. “It was quite a varied programme and I enjoyed it – especially feeling the car over the long runs.

“I am feeling much more comfortable in the car and I was able to help the team by bringing home a lot of data. I am getting much closer to the pace I want to show and I feel I can push the car harder with every run.”

Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough added, “All in all it has been a successful test with the car covering 202 laps, running reliably, and Alfonso getting further valuable experience in the car.”