11/05/2012

Friday Sweep-up!

As we're heading into the Saturday track action it appears if Sahara Force India are a dark horse this weekend. Race pace, at least from Nico Hulkenberg, was very impressive during FP1 & FP2 - but this could be down to fuel. Nevertheless 10th place in both sessions for Nico - that's promising :-) Paul di Resta has the potential for similar performance, but he just couldn't quite manage to match his German teammate today; tomorrow could be a different story however!

Narain Karthikeyan on the other hand had a poor day. He missed the first session to let Dani Clos form an all Spanish lineup, at the Spanish team, in Spain and then in the second session Narain only managed to complete what's being described as "1.1laps". Not his fault at all, an electronic issue just meant that the car ground to a halt.

Here's what everyone had to say:

Paul di Resta (Sahara Force India driver):
"A fairly normal Friday afternoon session for me trying to get on top of the tyres quickly and fine-tune the balance of the car. I had the new parts on the car, which seem to be delivering, although it's too early to say where we stand because we don't know what everyone else was doing or their fuel loads. I think it's going to be another very close weekend, just as we have seen in the previous races, and we still have plenty of work to do before qualifying to find the sweet spot".

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver):
"We got through the programme pretty much as planned and the initial results seem quite encouraging. The main task was to continue understanding the new upgrades, which I ran for both sessions, and getting the car set-up nicely for the track. We made some changes during the lunch break and they improved things, so I'm happy about what we've done today. As always, there's still work to do, but the main tasks for today are complete".

Jules Bianchi (Sahara Force India reserve driver):
"I was driving the same car we raced in Bahrain so that the team could run a back-to-back comparison with the new developments we have here. The session went well, I managed 21 laps on the hard compound tyre and the programme has given us a lot of data to analyse before qualifying".

Jakob Andreasen (Sahara Force India chief engineer):
"A productive Friday for us with excellent feedback from Nico, Paul and Jules as we continued to evaluate the developments we ran in Mugello last week. The driver comments are encouraging and the numbers also suggest the new parts are delivering what we expected. The rest of the programme was a fairly standard Friday job list, although Nico did use two sets of hard tyres this morning. Paul was back in the car for the afternoon and quickly got up to speed as he spent the majority of the session on the soft tyres. There's still room to improve overnight to maximise final practice and leave us in good shape going into qualifying".

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT driver)
"I'm disappointed to have not got any laps under my belt today; it's certainly not how I was aiming to start my weekend in Barcelona. Tomorrow will be an uphill struggle as we've only got one hour in the morning to get the car ready for qualifying in the afternoon, so we're really going to have to get our heads down and work hard. Hopefully we can make up for the time lost today and turn things around tomorrow".

So to sum up:

- a disappointing day for Narain Karthikeyan, relaible running needed tomorrow!
- Sahara Force India had a promising day ...
- Nico Hulkenberg impressed; everything went right on the track ...
- off the track however it was a different story ...
(Hulkemberg's Hulkenberg's name sign above his garage)

Until FP3, bye for now!

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