13/04/2012

Friday sweep-up

So, a promising Friday for Sahara Force India with Paul di Resta 8th and Nico Hulkenberg 9th in the only meaningful session of the day.

It's interesting that Paul beat Nico for laptime even though he missed the first session for reserve driver Jules Bianchi to get a shot in the VJM05. That means that in practice sessions so far Nico is beating Paul 5-2; doesn't mean anything just a little thing we're keeping tally of this season for fun really.

As for Narain Karthikeyan he was considerably behind teammate Pedro de la Rosa in both sessions, this would later turn out to be down to an issue with the brakes.

Here is what everyone has to say:

Paul di Resta (Sahara Force India driver)
"It was a solid afternoon session and a positive start to our race weekend. The baseline setup was pretty good to begin with and we just worked away at fine tuning that during the session. As for the tyres, I would say the medium and softs are quite similar and we managed to get good data during the long runs on both compounds".

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver)
"A very short FP1 with the mixed weather, but the running I managed was still useful because we did a few laps on the medium tyre towards the end of the morning. Then we had a very smooth FP2 in the dry conditions, which allowed us to complete all our objectives with long runs and tyre evaluation. Already I have a positive feeling in the car, it feels good to drive and I'm happy with the balance".

Jules Bianchi (Sahara Force India reserve driver)
"It was my first ever practice session in Formula One and my first time driving the Shanghai circuit, so there was quite a lot to learn. We tried to do as much as possible, but the weather made things difficult and we didn't do a lot of laps. After the install lap the track was still a bit damp in places, but almost immediately it started to rain again so we decided to wait for conditions to improve. I went out for a timed lap on the intermediates towards the end before switching to the dry tyres, but the track was very low grip and it was hard to push to the limit. It was good to work with the team and any time in the car is always valuable experience".

Jakob Andreasen (Sahara Force India chief engineer)
"We made the most of a damp morning session to begin our evaluation of some small aero developments we have introduced to the car this week. It was also Jules' first opportunity to take part in a free practice session with us and despite covering limited mileage he did a good job and gave valuable feedback. With the weather improving this afternoon we were able to push ahead with the essential tyre data collection and assess our long run performance. The sessions went to plan and we are optimistic heading into tomorrow".

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT driver)
"The weather wasn't favourable for us in free practice one and it meant that we didn't get any proper running done. I had a few problems in the morning session but the afternoon, where we tried a few different adjustments, was fine. We have a few things to look at tomorrow, especially on the braking side, but apart from that everything went well. We have to improve and we will do that. Tomorrow's practice three will be more representative of where we are".

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