Force India was left relatively happy following the first day of running at Monza on Friday. The team arrived in Italy with dampened spirits after its drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon once again collided at the Belgian Grand Prix under a week ago.
Ocon ended both Friday sessions inside the top ten, racking up a total of 77 laps. The Frenchman admitted that the resurfaced start/finish straight made the practice starts quite tricky: "It was a solid day of practice. We were testing a lot of different things and I think we came away with some very good data at the end of the day.
"I am pretty happy with how things went and the work we completed – we will need to do the same tomorrow in the final practice session before qualifying. There was a lot of track evolution as the day progressed: the main straight, in particular, has been resurfaced and the practice starts felt a bit slippery. It started raining at one point, but it didn’t last long so it didn’t really influence our day."
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley added: "Right from the start, both drivers were quite happy with the baseline balance of the car, which allowed us to move through our test programme. We did some work to evaluate the different rear wing levels, which is something we always do here in Monza, and also to understand the tyre compounds we will be racing. Esteban was happier about his car than Sergio this afternoon, so we will need to look into the reasons for this and see how we can improve ahead of qualifying."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing