Formula 1 - De la Rosa says test was key for Ferrari

Ferrari's final day of running in the Jerez test was vital for accelerating its simulator programme, despite the team missing out on three-and-a-half hours of running after a gearbox problem.

Pedro de la Rosa was recruited to focus on improving the team's simulator, an area in which Ferrari is playing catch-up to the likes of McLaren and Red Bull.

But despite only being able to complete 51 laps, the Spanish veteran was happy with the data that was gathered and the effect that it will have in allowing Ferrari to catch up with its simulator technology.

"I realise now how the real car handles and what is the level of grip of these modern F1 cars compared to what I had last year, which is very different, and this is a very good, solid platform, to work for the next few weeks in our simulator," said de la Rosa.

"What we did today is very important, even if it hasn't been long runs or many laps.

"The whole point of having me here was to understand the car and to help to accelerate the whole simulator programme."

De la Rosa added that Ferrari has to make significant gains to get its simulator on par with its leading rivals.

Having been involved with McLaren's cutting edge simulator for many years when the team's test driver, he has a clear idea of how far it still needs to go.

"We have a lot of work to do, we know that and that's why they hired me," he said.

"We are not where we want to be but I am very comfortable with the people that we have around.

"The determination now is to make the next step in the simulation."

De la Rosa, whose best lap was 2.168secs off pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus, added that he was unconcerned about his relatively low position on the timesheets.

"The goal is simply to see where we are with the car, where we are with the simulator and see how we can get them closer together," said de la Rosa.

"It was a day to get to know the team and the car and to speed up the simulator programme."