Sahara Force India enjoyed a fruitful day at Barcelona as the team got around building its new VJM08 car and giving it its first run with Nico Hulkenberg behind the wheel. Debuting at around 12:30, the team completed 77 laps.
Although the fastest lap of those 77 was a 1:28.412 and thereby the slowest of all cars on track, it's still early days as the team first focused on system checks.
"It has been a real big effort from all the staff back at the factory to get the car ready and out here for this test", Tom McCullough, the team's Chief Race Engineer said.
"Managing to run our installation laps before the lunch break was very useful and helped us achieve a solid first day with the VJM08. These are the very early stages of the VJM08's running and it is encouraging to get 77 laps on the board: we could have got even more mileage hadn't it been for the red flags at the end of the day. Today was all about achieving a first understanding of the new car and to run this long allowed us to collect a sizeable amount of very valuable data. We will go through it tonight and it will help us prepare for what is hopefully going to be another productive day tomorrow."
One of the team's racing drivers, Nico Hülkenberg also proved satisfied that they could finally run the new car.
“It was a very good day, at least in terms of the running we managed to do", he said. "We were able to run reliably straight out of the box and that is very encouraging. The boys and girls at the factory and here at the track have been pushing really hard in the last couple of weeks and to do 77 laps in little more than one afternoon is a remarkable job by the team.
"Obviously we still have a big task ahead of us and we are playing catch-up in certain aspects, but I am quite satisfied so far. The car feels pretty good, although making a direct comparison with our 2014 car is not easy as the conditions in winter testing are always very particular. One of our team's strengths is to learn about the car quickly, so we will need to get as much data as possible to get in a good position for Melbourne. Tomorrow we will be looking at doing more long runs, working with the various tyre compounds and putting more mileage on the car."