Celis feels trust from Force India

© XPB 

Alfonso Celis Jr is confident Force India acknowledges his contribution towards developing the VJM09, saying the team “listen to me and take my opinion”.

The Mexican was a surprise name on this week’s line-up, with Force India even giving the honour of debuting its new challenger to the 19-year-old. Celis returned on Thursday and wrapped up the first pre-season test in Barcelona with the third quickest time and 75 more laps under his belt.

“Confidence has been developed day by day, run by run in the car,” he said. “I started to try out the different tyres. I ran on the medium, soft, and supersoft compound so that’s quite a lot of information to get into my brain. I am still learning step by step.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity to drive the car for two days. For me as rookie driver, it’s a big plus. We are on the right direction as a team, while I am also developing myself.”

While naturally keen to learn as much as possible from Force India, the outfit's development driver says he is also asked to give his input into how the car can be improved.

“It’s obviously tough coming to a Formula One team but Force India is full of great people who listen to me and really take my opinion.

“That’s important to me and makes me feel helpful in that what I’m doing and working on is making the car progress while we keep evolving as a team.”

Celis, who will dovetail his F1 commitment with a second Formula V8 3.5 campaign in 2016, is scheduled to take part in seven Friday practice sessions for Force India over the course of the season.

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