Sauber Formula 1 Team suffered an oil leak during the morning of testing, day two, but Esteban Ocon was still able to complete 89 laps to finish fifth fastest with a 1:22.509.
Without sounding premature, Ocon was enthusiastic when discussing the day’s achievements, and hoped that the performance would continue in the days to come.
“A very enjoyable first day in the VJM10,” he said. “It’s very early days, of course, but the initial feelings are positive and we found a good direction for setting up the car.
“The only issue was an oil leak just before lunch, but it didn’t cost us much track time and I’m satisfied with the number of laps we covered. I hope we will make similar progress tomorrow and the day after.”
The French driver was impressed by the feel of the new “breed” of F1 cars that are certainly living up to the hype of faster corners and greater downforce.
“This was my first experience of the new generation cars and I have to say they are proper beasts: the high-speed corners are very impressive and there are big gains in the low-speed corners so it’s a good step forward.”
The team was able to complete a number of checks, tests and rebalancings over the course of the day, as well as completing a number of runs on the differing tyre compounds.
“We finished off the systems checks this morning as Esteban became comfortable with the new car and then moved straight into the aero programme, which we had started yesterday with Sergio,” Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer, said.
“Esteban’s feedback led us in a good direction with rebalancing the car and he also ran on a variety of tyre compounds including supersoft, soft and medium.
“I’m pleased we managed to exceed our target lap count and accrued so much data because the learning curve is so steep in these early days. We will continue the programme tomorrow with Alfonso Celis in the VJM10.”