Date: 2nd March 2015 at 8:38am
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The new Force India VJM08 has arrived in Barcelona and it made its first outing on Friday afternoon with Nico Hulkenberg behind the wheel.

For a brand new car without any mileage behind it, the new 2015 Force India rolled out of the garage and completed 77 laps in half a day.

Some of the other teams could only dream of that kind of reliability straight out of the box.

It’s overall lap time might have been slow, but on the first day lap times would not have been a priority for the team.

?It was a very good day, at least in terms of the running we managed to do, We were able to run reliably straight out of the box and that is very encouraging. The boys and girls at the factory and here at the track have been pushing really hard in the last couple of weeks and to do 77 laps in little more than one afternoon is a remarkable job by the team.

‘Obviously we still have a big task ahead of us and we are playing catch-up in certain aspects, but I am quite satisfied so far.’
Hulkenberg told formula1.com.

Whilst Force India stole the headlines on day two of the final winter test, Mercedes edged to the top of the time sheets.

Nico Rosberg set a time of 1m 22.792s a time which was 2.5 seconds faster than that of Lewis Hamilton’s pole time set in 2014.

Rosberg set the time on soft compound tyres, whilst completing 106 laps over the course of the day to finally show what the new Mercedes had in terms of both reliability and performance.

Valtteri Bottas for Williams was the second fastest of the day, an entire 1.2 seconds off of the Mercedes pace.

‘I’m pleased with my two laps at the end – I nailed them pretty well and they were both identical, so a good ending to the day, We’re confident that we have a good car and I’m starting to feel good in it. At the same time, of course, we’re well aware that the others have been posting some quick times and we can take nothing for granted.’ Rosberg told the media.

It also proved to be a good day for McLaren Honda.

2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button not only climbed up the time sheets to fifth, he also completed 101 laps the first time in all three winter test sessions that the McLaren had managed some long runs.

?We?ve still got a lot of work still do to, but we had a good day today, It?s never easy when you?ve missed out on so much testing, but we?re making good progress, and we got lots of really useful information today.

?We know we?re not the quickest guys out there, but you?ll certainly see a lot of improvement by the time we get to Australia.?
Button said.

Unofficial Friday testing times from Barcelona:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 22.792s
2. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 23.995s
3. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1m 24.071s
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1m 25.339s
5. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 25.590s
6. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 26.705s
7. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1m 26.766s
8. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1m 26.965s
9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 28.412s




 

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