Sahara Force India completed a busy day of testing in Abu Dhabi with development driver, Nikita Mazepin, working through an extensive tyre programme.
Nikita Mazepin - VJM10-04
Laps: 90 laps
Best time: 1:39.959
Position: P8 of 12
Nikita Mazepin: “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. 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. I built up my speed during the morning because it was my first time driving here, but in the afternoon I was pushing more and more. 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.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Engineer: “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. 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.”