Bruno Senna labeled his first laps at the wheel of the HRT F1 car as a "great start" following the team's initial outing in practice in Bahrain.
Senna, whose team had not turned a wheel before today, managed three installation laps in the morning and then completed 17 rounds in the second session.
The Brazilian finished over 11 seconds off the pace.
Senna admitted he was relieved to finally hit the track, and is confident the team can now begin to make progress.
"It was certainly a relief to make history this morning," said Senna. "The car ran as planned and everyone is happy and proud. There is still a lot of work ahead of us.
"Three laps this morning and 17 this afternoon is a great start. Of course, we could not try the car at its limits.
"I am confident that we will be working ahead and I want to congratulate my mechanics, engineers and the whole team for their incredible hard work."
Teammate Karun Chandhok's car was fired up today, but the Indian was unable to take to the track and is looking forward to driving tomorrow.
"I was hoping that it would be in condition to run fully a bit later than my teammate's," he said. "We know that all systems are working and with the third free practice still ahead of us we can still look positively at the start of our first weekend of racing."