Paul di Resta is convinced Force India have made a step in the right direction following his first outing for the team.
In his official role as test driver, Di Resta took control of the VJM03 for the majority of the first day of the third pre-season Formula One test in Jerez, completing 76 laps.
The 23-year-old from Scotland posted the eighth quickest time with a lap of one minute 25.088 seconds, finishing 2.5secs adrift of pacesetter Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing.
After earning his new position following a superb performance at a young driver test in December behind the wheel of last year’s Force India, Di Resta can sense the difference between the two cars.
“Today was my first run in the new car and it felt pretty good,” assessed Di Resta.
“The objective was to get as much running as possible and we managed over 300 kilometres, which was a great effort, particularly given the bad weather conditions we had over the morning.
“It seemed to be drying out and then the rain would return again so you were in a sort of no man’s land with the tyres.
“Even with this type of weather though, I could get an impression of the car.
“It seems stable and good all round, a genuine improvement on the car I drove last year.
“I’ll be back in the car in Barcelona (next week) and I am looking forward to it already.”
As part of his development this season, Force India are to allow Di Resta time in the car during Friday practice of grands prix weekends.