Alfonso Celis Jr participated in his fifth free practice session of 2016, replacing countryman Sergio Perez in the Sahara Force India F1 Team at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday morning.
The twenty-year-old Mexican finished seventeenth fastest in the session, and felt that he improved as the session progressed, particularly in the slow and medium-speed corners, with Celis ending 1.710 seconds behind regular driver Nico Hülkenberg.
“I’m pleased about the improvement I could see throughout the morning, especially in the slow and medium-speed corners, and in the braking zones,” said Celis. “I only had two sets of supersoft tyres available, so I had to be smart with how I used them.
“You never get everything out of a lap on the first attempt and by the end of the run your tyres are no longer at their best, but taking this into account, I am pleased with what I achieved. Most importantly, I went out to collect data for the team and we got all we needed, which is what I am meant to do.”
Celis was also happy to see a number of Mexican fans at the track a week ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, an event he will unfortunately be forced to skip due to his Formula V8 3.5 commitments in Europe.
“On a personal level, it was great to see many Mexican fans out in the stands,” said Celis. “I won’t be in Mexico City next week, but I was really happy to see support from my home country – it was very motivating.”