The Force India Formula One Team young driver test concluded today at the Circuito de Jerez in Andalucia, Spain. JR Hildebrand and Paul di Resta once more shared driving duties, with American JR getting out in the morning before Scot Paul took over for the afternoon.
On the programme for both today was further aero and mechanical set-up evaluation over both long and short runs. JR was able to complete 41 laps before a red flag and rain shower slowed progress, recording a best lap time of 1:19.873. Paul put in 53 laps in a slightly interrupted afternoon programme, however completed his schedule with a best of 1min 18.736, the second quickest of the day.
JR Hildebrand: "Today was a little frustrating because we again lost our quickest outings when the engine saving mode switched on and then when we tried to re-run the new tyre outing the red flag came out when I was six tenths up on my fastest lap. That would have put us squarely in the thick of the front runners. Knowing I had the time in me and couldn't get it is in part frustrating, but I can only be so frustrated as I know how much quicker we really were. I am still struggling with some instability into the corners but the team was able to make some improvements for the afternoon and with a bit more time I could make some adjustments myself. I have had a great experience here and I really feel at this point that my confidence and comfort in the car was quite high. I've been happy with my performance and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity."
Paul di Resta: "It was a little interrupted this afternoon with one spin into the gravel and then an electrical issue that stopped us out on track so we lost some time in places. All the same the team ran through their programme and despite the stoppages we made progress and I think the team got some good results. I think I had a good time at the end and found some more performance so I'm happy on both accounts. Thanks to everyone for a great week and for giving me a chance."
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer: "A satisfactory completion to the test today, with JR driving in the morning and Paul for the afternoon. The weather cost us a little track time at the start of the day and in the early afternoon, but with our programme adjusted we were able to accomplish most of what we set out acheive. Overall the Young Driver Test has proven to be a very positive initiative for F1, and it's been a productive test to finish the year."