Current DTM driver and recent Force India recruit, Daniel Juncadella, got his first taste of 2014 machinery when he made his debut with the Silverstone-based outfit on the final day of the first preseason test in Jerez.
The Spaniard drove for Force India on the fourth and final day in Jerez, logging an impressive 81 laps while ending the day with the third fastest time. While it is far too early to read into that time, Daniel was happy with his first day in the car in tricky conditions.
“It was a great experience and I made sure to make the most of it. We covered a lot of laps, which was a big improvement after quite a frustrating day yesterday (Thursday). Its what the team needed before the Bahrain test to really start understanding the car.”
This was also Daniel’s first experience of a Formula One car in wet conditions, something he made sure he didn’t take for granted.
“I took things very cautiously because I had never driven a Formula One car in the wet and the whole day the track still had damp patches. It was a case of building up my confidence and learning how the team operates.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Force India’s Chief Operating Officer, hailed the day’s work after a somewhat frustrating opening few days of the Jerez test.
“The final day in Jerez proved to be one of the most productive so far. Despite the mixed weather conditions, Daniel was able to complete 81 laps, which has given him valuable experience for his role as a reserve driver this season.
“The car has run reliably all day (yesterday) which is a result of all the hard work carried out earlier in the week to resolve some of the initial reliability concerns.”
Szafnauer stressed the importance of mileage in the early stages of the preseason, as the 2014 cars are proving perhaps even more complicated to run than expected.
“During these early days it’s paramount to get laps under our belt and over the last four days we have clocked up almost 650 km. It’s not been an easy test operationally, with lost of different challenges, but the whole team has done an extremely professional job to ensure we maximized the test days we had available”
The second test will begin on 19th of February in Bahrain, where Lotus will finally reveal their 2014 challenger.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic