Formula One: Hype’d Force India Impress in Free Practice

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Practice Day - Abu Dhabi, UAE
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 leaves the pits. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Friday 27th November 2015. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sahara Force India delivered a strong performance in today’s two practice sessions in preparation for Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez              VJM08-02
FP1:     1:44.934            (P8)                  27 laps
FP2:     1:42.610            (P3)                  23 laps  
Sergio: “Today has been a good start to our race weekend, despite the brake issue we experienced in the evening session. The first session is not very representative of race conditions here, because the track temperatures are much higher than you would have in the evening, so we took the opportunity to try a few test parts that will help us in the development of next year’s car. FP2 was a very positive session: I felt comfortable in the car from the start and the changes we made worked well. Our long run programme was interrupted by the brake issue, but we have plenty of data from Nico’s runs that we can analyse tonight. The baseline set-up we worked on is already quite good, so we’re in good shape for tomorrow.”
Nico Hülkenberg       VJM08-03
FP1:     144.751             (P6)                   22 laps
FP2:     1:42.928            (P8)                  35 laps
 
Nico: “I’m feeling pretty happy with a successful day and lots of laps under our belt. In the morning we had a busy programme with several test items and future development work, which went to plan and gave us a lot of information. The afternoon was straightforward with no issues and our one-lap performance looks quite competitive. There is still room to improve with our long runs so we need to do our homework tonight and understand what we can change for tomorrow. Overall I’m feeling positive about our performance today.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer
“The car has been working well straight out of the box and both drivers were happy with the baseline balance, which allowed us to push ahead with an extensive test programme to gather data with a view to next year. The cooler temperatures in the second session were much more representative of what we expect for qualifying and the race, and both Nico and Sergio remained happy with the balance and the changes we made between the sessions. We look quite competitive, but the margins between all the teams are very small. Sergio lost some track time towards the end of the second session with a left rear brake issue, the cause of which we are still investigating. It means he missed out on doing a long run with the option tyre, but fortunately Nico completed a full programme so we have enough information to analyse this evening.”
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