Today was all about me coming to grips with the circuit, and we had a structured plan to work through to ensure we made the most of the opportunity. We did not do as much new tyre running as many others, however our focus was on my preparation. Conditions were very warm, so in addition to the fact this is a physically demanding circuit, this was to be a good test of fitness.
In the first 3 hour long session we worked through 56 laps started on a fairly well used set of tyres before moving to better used sets. Late in the session we put on our first new set and went quicker, though after putting on another used set to finish the session, I then almost matched that time. A indication that I am still improving at points of the circuit and there is more time to be gained.
In the second session we ran only used tyres, with the plan being to perform a full race distance run. This all went well, and after a short stint preparing brake pads, I completed 20 laps straight giving us valuable information on the balance of the car in race conditions.
In the third session we planned to replicate qualifying with two runs on new tyres. These were slightly comprimised through a red flag and also traffic aborting laps in front of me on my second set, however I know there is still further time I can find tomorrow in a couple of corners.
All in all, exactly 100 laps completed, so plenty of learning to build on in the two sessions tomorrow.