Reserve driver Jules Bianchi’s “mistake” left VJM05-02 damaged and cost Sahara Force India a major part of the track time on the third day of its pre-season testing to evaluate systems.
The mechanics worked hard to repair the right rear corner of the car but ultimately the team was missing one small brake component,which prevented it from returning to the track.
The replacement part is expected to arrive this evening to allow Nico Hulkenberg to get his first run in the car tomorrow morning.
“I made a small mistake on my second run. The tyres were a bit cold and I spun into the gravel and touched the wall with the right rear wheel. It was not a very big impact,but it caused some damage. I’m very sorry because my mistake has cost the team a lot of time and effort,” Bianchi said.
“Going away from here I want to focus on the positives because we had a very good day yesterday and I’ve really enjoyed working with the team this week.”
The team’s Technical Director Andrew Green said he would count the positives rather then thinking about the damage caused.
“A bit frustrating to lose some track time today,but we will take it on the chin because we had two very productive days earlier in the week with plenty of mileage. The damage to the car was not that significant,but a lack of spares at this time of year meant we could not go back out in the afternoon.
“The car will be ready for tomorrow morning when Nico gets his test programme underway. We will resume the aero work we started this morning and make the most of the tyres that we saved from today’s limited running,” he said.
The car completed just 1.5 laps through the day.