Force India starts pre-season testing

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Valencia, Feb 2 (PTI) Force India''s new signings NicoHulkenberg and Paul di Resta took on the driving duties forthe first time for the Formula One team starting a three-daypre-season testing programme at the Valencia permanent circuithere.

The two drivers were officially taken on board lastWednesday.

In yesterday''s testing, the team used the VJM03 -- lastyear''s challenger -- to gather further tyre data, whiledevelopment work continued on the VJM04 in the wind tunnelback at Silverstone.

Nico was first out in the car, completing 71 laps intotal with a best time of 1:13.938, the second quickest timeof the day, as he got up to speed with the car and thedifferent protocols and procedures employed by the team.

Paul di Resta took over late afternoon and posted thefourth best time of the day after 28 laps.

Paul will continue the test tomorrow with Adrian Sutiltaking over for the final day.

"Generally a very productive and promising first day withthe team. The main goal was principally for me to get used tothe team, the car and the new Pirelli tyres and my impressionsof all were pretty positive. It was great to be back in an F1car and I got back up to speed quicker than I thought," Nicosaid.

"A short outing for me today, but good to get back in thecar and out on track again after a couple of months off. Andgreat to be back in the team environment knowing that this isall building up to the start of my first season in F1. Wecompleted just under 30 laps to get ready for the full daytomorrow," added Paul di Resta.

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