Nikita Mazepin has enjoyed another opportunity behind the wheel of an Formula 1 car with Sahara Force India F1 Team at the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test, completing ninety laps and testing out the new 2018 Pirelli tyres.7
The Russian FIA European Formula 3 driver was back on testing duties with Force India for the first time since the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test. Mazepin set the eighth fastest time overall with a 1:39.959 around the Yas Marina Circuit.
Mazepin said after the test that he was satisfied to be back behind the wheel and said testing the new compounds was interesting on how they will work next year.
“I am quite satisfied with the work we have done today. Testing the new Pirelli tyres for 2018 was interesting and it gave us the first idea of how the various compounds will work next year.” said Mazepin.
“I would have liked to improve my times a bit towards the end of the day, but I was blocked on my last new tyre run. At the end of the day, however, it’s a test and we can be happy with what we achieved.”
The Russian continued to say compare to his previous test with team at Budapest, the balance with the VJM10 is now better through the corners.
“Compared to the last time I was in the car, in Budapest, the balance felt much more consistent in the medium to high-speed corners, so I could feel how much the car has improved over the last few months.”
Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough said that the young Russian driver has done a mature job back behind a wheel with the team.
“Nikita was back in the car today for the first time since the Budapest test last August. He did a very mature job and didn’t put a wheel out of place all day, which helped us complete an ambitious run plan” said McCullough.
“This was the first opportunity to try the 2018 Pirelli compounds and it’s very important that we maximise our understanding of them to help steer our direction during the winter.”
“The red flags in the afternoon curtailed some of our long runs, but 90 laps represent a good day’s work.”
“We will aim for more of the same tomorrow when Esteban and Sergio share driving duties with half a day each.”