First day is completed at Jerez. The track is composed of a mixture of very high speed corners, along with some very technical ones, so there is a great deal of learning for me being my first time here. Another factor to take into consideration at Jerez is that the circuit is at its quickest in the morning due to the nature of the track surface.
The morning sessions for me however, were very much about familiarisation and in working closely with my engineer, Tom, we identified a number of areas to improve, along with making some changes to the car. During this time I was not using any new sets of tyres, whereas the rest of the field who were experienced here were.
By the afternoon I was starting to gain a lot more confidence through many of the high speed corners in particular, however, by that time the wind had picked up considerably, and the track was certainly not at its best, so times of all the drivers were down on the morning session by that time.
In our last run for the day we had our first run on news tyres, these felt fantastic and I was able to push with much more confidence around the quicker parts of the circuit. For the first time of the day I was able to break into the 1:36s with a 1:36.9, so we came in for a quick change on to a second new set back to back. I was then able to take off another 3 tenths to finish with a 1:36.6 which moved me up to 14th on the timesheets with almost all above me putting in their quickest laps at the beginning of the day on new tyres.
I continue to learn a huge amount and this is certainly the most challenging track I have driven on to date. Looking forward to getting stuck into tomorrow morning on new tyres and feeling much more confident and familiar with the track.