10/02/2012

Jerez - day four

Results: Hulkenberg 7th (1:19.977s).

A much better day for Force India than yesterday as Nico Hulkenberg had his first taste of the VJM05. Like the other three days mileage and tyre comparisons were the teams priority.

In total Nico completed 90 laps and ended up 7th with a 1:19.977s. Just remember that at this stage that  laptimes count for absolutely nothing due to differing fuel loads, and engine modes etc. etc. Infact we'll only really know the true pace of the car at the first qualifying session of the season!

So what did Nico think? Here is what he has to say:

"It wasn't so much about the performance today, it was about getting some laps in, getting some mileage and trying to recover a bit from yesterday. I think we have a good baseline now and we can be pleased with how the day went [we think he meant to say how the first test went]. The chassis feels good, and we have a pretty good platform on which we can start developing, so its generally pretty positive. The first day [for him in the VJM05] is about getting me comfortable in the car - it obviously took me some time to get used to it again after two and half months. You never stop learning".

"You know it happens. [about Jules Bianchi's crash yesterday] I did stuff like that as well. It was frustrating certainly, and you never fully recover the time back, but I can understand these things happen. Formula 1 is a tricky sport, you need experience. We made the most of today and now we just move on. I think we have a good baseline now, but on the other hand there is still room for improvement and work ahead of us. I haven't compared data to other cars yet, not even Paul, so now we have to analyse that".

Here is some data from the test:

Total number of laps completed - Jerez Test
1) Lotus (402)
2) Williams (372)
3) Caterham (358)
4) Mercedes (347) - in 2011 car.
5) Sauber (336)
6) Toro Rosso (316)
7) McLaren (311)
8) Force India (308)
9) Red Bull (296)
10) Ferrari (270)
11) HRT (108) - in 2011 car.
12) Marussia (0) - not in attendance.

Clearly day three (where Bianchi crashed) cost the team in terms of mileage. However, two top teams (Red Bull and Ferrari) completed less laps than Force India so if the laps the team did make have been used efficiently then there is no need to worry :-)

Combined Best Times - Jerez Test (Force India)
1) Di Resta (1:19.772, day 1)
2) Hulkenberg (1:19.977s, day 4)
3) Bianchi (1:20.221, day 2)
4) Di Resta (1:20.272, day 2)

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