Sahara Force India had a productive day in Budapest as Nikita Mazepin and debutant Lucas Auer completed 106 laps between them.
Laps: 106 laps
Best lap – Nikita Mazepin: 1:19.910 (P6) – 52 laps
Best lap – Lucas Auer: 1:20.563 (P9) – 54 laps
“It’s been a long year since I tested in Silverstone and I have been looking forward to getting back in the car all this time. It was another great experience and I enjoyed working with the team. I was interested to experience these new cars and so far I am satisfied. The morning went quite well and I am happy with how things worked out for me. I am looking forward to tomorrow afternoon – tonight I will be analysing what I did, see what the team’s plan is and see where I can improve tomorrow.”
“First, I want to say a big thank you to the whole Sahara Force India team for making this possible. It was an incredible experience. When I went out of the pits and I released the limiter it was a bit of a shock. The speed is incredible, especially through the corners. I felt really confident and the team gave me a few runs to settle into the car. My main priority was not to damage anything – the team asked me for consistency, to put in the laps and go through the run plan. These cars are very physical and in the first two runs I was really feeling it. You keep turning, you keep pushing and you don’t get to breathe because you’re not yet in a rhythm. It gets a bit easier as you get used to it. I am looking forward to another run tomorrow morning and hopefully I will be able to show a little more of what I can do.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer
“Overall, it’s been a productive day of testing in very hot conditions. Nikita slotted back into the team after a strong F3 weekend in Spa. The VJM10 is a big step up from the car he drove in Silverstone last year: new generation cars are much harder to drive, but I am sure he enjoyed the grip they offer and that he is looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow. Today’s session is another step in the driver development programme Nikita started with us 18 months ago. The hours in the simulator had already shown that he is developing well and that was confirmed by his running this morning.
“Lucas had prepared very well for this time in the car, with an extensive programme in our simulator and that helped him get up to speed quickly. The VJM10 is quite a different car to the DTM Mercedes he usually drives but he rose up to the challenge. He adapted quickly and this allowed us to continue the evaluation of some development parts on the car. It’s always fun being part of a driver’s first day in a Formula One car and Lucas showed a lot of maturity for someone driving this car for the first time. Overall, we have been very impressed with our two drivers today and look forward to carrying on with the programme tomorrow.”