Nikita Mazepin says that he put in some meaningful running during the second day of in-season testing at the Hungaroring despite being hampered by two car failures. The Russian caused two red flags on Wednesday when he was forced to pull to the side of the track.
The 19-year-old only clocked in 51 laps throughout the full day of running, but was still happy with the information he gathered for himself and the team: "I was extremely excited to be back in the car and I am happy with the way we worked,” he said.
"We had a couple of issues with the car that prevented us from completing our programme, but we were still able to have some meaningful running and complete more than 50 laps. I am grateful to the crew for their hard work,” Mazepin added.
The GP3 racer has been linked with a race seat next year at Force India, as the team entered administration last weekend. Mazepin's father, Dmitry, is a billionaire businessman, who is rumoured to be one of the interested parties that could buy into the team.
Mazepin has been enjoying his time with Force India so far, saying it is a big boost to what he's used to in GP3: "Every time I step into an F1 car it’s a big enjoyment boost compared to the GP3 cars I am used to.
"Working with the team is incredible: even though I have been with this group of people for two years now, every time I am testing I am impressed by the level of professionalism and expertise that surrounds me. There is so much I can learn from the engineers and I am determined to give the best possible feedback to help the team progress."
Force India Chief engineer Tom McCullough expressed his satisfaction with Mazepin and commended the team for working around the difficulties of the second day: "Nikita settled in quickly with the team and we were able to hit the ground running,” he said.
"We went through all our data and information-gathering programme in the morning, but unfortunately we had a couple of technical issues that cost us track time later in the day.
"The crew did well to replace the affected parts and we were able to catch up and bring forward our test programme, while giving our development driver some valuable experience behind the wheel. Overall, we had two productive days here in Budapest to finish the first part of the season."