Adrian Sutil only had a handful of laps with the new Force India in the dry yesterday morning before rain hit Jerez - but that was enough to convince him that the VJM03 is the car he's been waiting for.
AUTOSPORT heard from the upbeat German afterwards.
Q. Have you been able to get much of a feeling for the new Force India in the little dry running and the wet laps you've had?
Adrian Sutil: A little bit, yes. It was nice to drive and I think the car is really good. I had a very good feeling straight out of the garage. We did one hour in the dry and did three runs and it gave me a good idea of where we are.
We went through some programmes for the wet, nothing in particular, usually in and out doing aerodynamic testing and things like that and in the end we finished quite early. I stopped on the circuit as I had a bit of an electronic problem, but we have fixed it already. I didn't do too many laps for the day, but it ended up being very wet.
Q. Would you have done much more running without the electronic problem?
AS: We wanted to do some runs in the wet, but it's not so important.
Q. Does the car feel like a nice step forward from last year?
AS: Yes. It looked really good during the winter, the numbers we got were very good and I'm pleased it showed the same performance on the circuit because it's always something else when it runs. It's early days, but I've never had such a good feeling before the season. That's why I'm looking forward to the race.
Q. Tonio Liuzzi said that from what he could tell there is no-one way out front and everyone is reasonable close - would you agree with his assessment?
AS: I think so. It is pretty close. You always see a few cars in testing that are a second faster than anyone else, but normally you know they are a bit lighter. It's nothing to be worried about at this test or in the test at Valencia. There will be a lot of teams at the same level fighting against each other.
Q. What were the wet conditions like for the middle part of the day?
AS: For two or three hours it was a little bit greasy, a bit wet, and you destroyed your normal rain tyres, but it was also too wet for slick tyres. So you just had to wait in the pits for more clear conditions. Later on, it was a clear wet set-up so you could check a full wet set-up. But you need dry running to check the temperatures in the car and you want to see how the tyres are behaving in the long runs.
Q. How different does it feel going into the season with the car on track this early rather than recent years when the car was late and perhaps things were changing in the team?
AS: It feels very good to be well prepared. It's a much better feeling and if you release a car and it works then you start the season very differently. Last year was already a step. We knew we were late and needed to update our car pretty quick, so we were aware that the first few races weren't that strong. But this year could be different. We want to have consistent performance throughout the season from beginning to end and I think we can achieve it.