Calado drove for the Silverstone based squad in the Young Driver Test earlier in the year, his first taste of F1 machinery, and impressed with some quick and consistent lap times. Talking about his experience on Friday morning he said: “Amazing – that’s the only word I can use to describe the day. It took a while to get used to the car again, but once I was familiar with everything I was able to drive consistently and set some reasonable lap times.”
He added: “The balance felt good and everything ran smoothly during the session. I learned a lot and hopefully got some good data for the team. I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahara Force India for the opportunity and I’m already looking forward to getting back in the car later in the year.”
Meanwhile race driver Paul Di Resta has admitted that the team have plenty of work to do after finishing outside of the top 10 in both practice sessions. He said: “The car seems to be relatively well balanced, but we’ve not been able to break into the top ten yet. So we need to work away tonight to try and improve things a bit more. Making Q3 tomorrow is the big target, which is definitely achievable.”
The Scot thinks that the margins between cars are quite big despite the top 15 being separated by just one second in first practice: “The field looks quite spread out here, certainly compared to some other races, but we seem to be close to McLaren. The tyres are performing in line with our predictions and we’ve got plenty of data to go through tonight.”
Adrian Sutil was back in the car in second practice but isn’t happy with the cars balance, lacking overall grip: “Monza is an unusual track so it’s been quite a challenge to get on top of the car today. There’s certainly a lot to look at tonight because we need to improve the car under braking and make it easier to drive as I’m lacking overall grip at the moment. For the tyres we have the data we need and the long run performance looked okay.”
Force India went into the weekend hoping to challenge strongly in the top 10. Their cars have usually suited the Monza circuit and its unique characteristics but have failed to show any signs of meeting their expectations so far.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic