Force India reserve driver James Calado has thanked his team for an “amazing” day after getting his first taste of a Formula One car in an official session during the practice for the Italian Grand Prix today.
The British driver, who currently races in GP2, was given the opportunity by the team after they confirmed earlier this week that he would be their reserve driver for the foreseeable future. Calado put in a respectable performance, finishing seventeenth and less than half-a-second off full-time driver Paul di Resta.
“Amazing – that’s the only word I can use to describe the day,” Calado said after the session. “It took a while to get used to the car again, but once I was familiar with everything I was able to drive consistently and set some reasonable lap times.
“The balance felt good and everything ran smoothly during the session. I learned a lot and hopefully got some good data for the team.”
Calado went on to thank the team for giving him the run-out, with Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg both serving in the same role before going on to race for the team.
“I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahara Force India for the opportunity and I’m already looking forward to getting back in the car later in the year.”
In an interview with the BBC, Calado said that he believes his next practice showing will be at Abu Dhabi. Until then, he will return to his duties in GP2 as he vies for the championship with just six rounds remaining.