E s is a world of difference between the past and the past Now state. Last year, Force India only joined the Formula 1 group on the tenth day of testing and only had three days to get to know its new car. The new car wasn't entirely new. It's just a temporary solution. Problems with cash flow and chassis production set the team back. The actual 2016 car made its debut as a B version at the GP Silverstone. After that, however, the British-Indian racing team rocked and even grabbed fifth place in the Team World Championship.
Perez the third fastest on the second day of testing
In 2016, the new VJM09 is right from the first day of testing at hand. Young driver Alfonso Celis completed 58 laps at the beginning. Sergio Perez took over on Tuesday and added 101 rounds to the account. 'It was a very positive start. No comparison to our test start in 2015. There is a difference of a few seconds in between,' reported the ninth World Cup from last year.
Perez was close to the top of the daily standings the third position. Only Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were faster. However, both of them already pulled the joker of the softest Pirelli mixture, the new Ultrasoft. Perez had pulled the red-marked Supersoft on his fastest lane of 1: 23.650 minutes. And was only 0.840 seconds slower than the day's fastest.
The concept of the VJM09 is similar to the previous year's model
The Red Bull was just 0.125 seconds short. Small classification: At Vettel was fraudthe difference between the second softest and stickiest level around eight tenths. 'Our car has got better, especially in the rear. Mechanically we have more variation options. We haven't changed the concept of the car much because we knew from last year that it would work,' said Perez.
Does the Force India VJM09 already belong to the top group after today's performance? 'I don't know. It would be nice if it were,' he evades slightly. 'I hope we stay in the top five.' The Mexican definitely sees a lot of room for improvement. 'There is a lot of potential in the car. We now have to unlock that.' And in which areas specifically? 'In all of them. Both in terms of aerodynamics and the mechanical side,' explains Perez.
In addition to the speed, the reliability is also good. Perez only had minor ailments. 'A couple of things with the steering wheel and the seat. But nothing serious,' said Perez, who would have liked to have driven a little more. 'The red flag got in our way in the end. But we more or less unwound our program.'
New rear suspension for second week of testing
He also gave the further developed Mercedes engine positive marks. 'They definitely did a good job. We'll have to wait and see what the competition did.'
In the last few hours Force India has shifted its focus to longer rides. This enabled Perez to give an opinion on the Pirelli tires, which have changed in terms of their rubber structure. The aim is to give the drivers a better feeling of when the tires are at their end. A clearer announcement of the “point of no return.” When a certain amount of the tread is rubbed, it is very difficult to keep the car on the track. Especially on soft tires, 'said Perez. Does that help the Mexican, who is known as a tire whisperer?' It's too early to judge it, 'says Perez.
The 26-year-old hopes his team will in the development process quickly launches new parts. A new rear suspension is due next week. Perez wants more. 'There are a few more things that we would like to have in Melbourne. If not then, hopefully to Bahrain. '