Celis: Barcelona test chance a "vote of confidence" from Force India

Force India development driver Alfonso Celis has stated that he sees the two days he will get in the VJM09 in Barcelona as a "vote of confidence" from the team.

Celis, who joined Force India as a development driver in November and ran his first laps in an F1 car in December's Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi, will drive the Silverstone-based team's new car on Monday and Thursday.

"I'm very excited and ready to complete the two days they have given me," Celis told Motorsport.com.

"I was surprised by the opportunity. I was informed of it at the factory while preparing for the season ahead.

"The team has given me a vote of confidence and it is important for me to be in the car for my development."

The Mexican, who will dovetail his F1 duties with a Formula V8 3.5 campaign in the upcoming season, will give Force India's new challenger its public on-track debut - with it being unveiled at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday morning.

"It's important to be in the car as long as possible for me to keep growing," Celis added. "It's a very different world and I have a lot to learn."

Important to avoid trouble

Elaborating on his test programme, Celis noted: "During the first day, we will need to check that the car works correctly.

"There is a lot of work to be done. The main thing for me is to give feedback that will serve the team well for the proper development of the car.

"We hope to get as many laps as we are looking for. It is important that no failures occur and that I am not involved in any accident.

"It's a very extensive plan - I think I've never had this kind of workload. But this is Formula 1 and I'm very focussed on the job."

Celis' two test days mean that regular drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will do only half of the first four-day test in Barcelona - although the duo will subsequently complete a further two days each in the second week of running.

"It was a team decision," Celis explained. "Both Nico and Sergio have advised me to ensure that we get the most use out of it."

Interview by Luis Ramirez

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Alfonso Celis Jr.
Teams Force India
Article type Breaking news