29/07/2012

Saturday Analysis

A decent qualifying session for Sahara Force India, but it could have been better.

Grid positions: Hulkenberg 10th, di Resta 12th.

It was a decent lap to get Nico Hulkenberg into Q3; however the German driver made a mistake on his only hot lap during the final part of qualifying which put him P10. He admitted he was pushing too hard, and has learnt a valuable lesson:

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver):
"I'm happy to be in the top ten but not satisfied with my quick lap in Q3. I tried too hard and made a mistake, got some dirt on my tyres and couldn’t recover the lap. It's a bit frustrating because my laptime from Q2 would have been good enough for sixth on the grid. So I'm a bit disappointed, but at the same time I'm focusing on the positives because we looked competitive during the session. Now we need to do the same in the race and pick up points".

(A lovely shot of Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying, click to enlarge)

As for Paul di Resta, he didn't managed to do a clean lap during Q2, he will start P12.

Paul di Resta (Sahara Force India driver):
"I think there was more potential in the car today, but I couldn't get the laptime when it counted during Q2. The main issue was trying to find track position and I had to push very hard on my out lap to make some space, which probably took too much out of the tyres. It's a shame because we were very quick in Q1 and the car has been working well here. We can still have a good race, but it won’t be easy with the high temperatures and the fact that it’s never easy to overtake here".

Additionally, Vijay Mallya (Sahara Force India team principle) had this to say:
"We showed good pace today, but we didn't quite maximise our performance when it mattered. Nico did a superb lap to make Q3, but a small error on his final quick lap cost him several positions on the grid. Paul has a similar situation in Q2 when the tyre performance dropped off at the end of the lap and he missed out on making the top ten. The good news is that we've shown that we have a quick car here in Budapest and hopefully we can demonstrate that again tomorrow when it really counts".

Race pace is a concern for the team, so expect Paul di Resta to take a gamble on strategy in the first stint by starting on the harder tyres (just a guess!). The aim, of course, will be to outscore our rivals; this is how they performed today:

Mercedes: 13th & 17th
Sauber: 14th & 15th
Williams: 8th & 9th

After Williams, Sahara Force India did best today from the midfield teams. Due to the high temperatures at Hungary it's very likely that the car will not suit the circuit; keeping other drivers behind may be difficult. What does play into the team's hands though is that the Hungary track is very narrow and very difficult to pass on. This makes defending a position slightly easier.

A sprinkling of rain would be great for the team. Currently the forecast says a 55% chance of rain, and that's slowly increasing.

Meanwhile Narain Karthikeyan had an okay session, P24 for him.

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT driver):
"In the morning I managed to make the most of the entire session and run consistently. Given the high temperatures today, the car was overheating a bit, so we had to make some slight cut-outs on the bodywork and that made us lose some points of downforce. That cost us a couple of tenths. But we've made a big effort and I've got the satisfaction of having given everything I've got. There's a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow and it will be a tough race, but we're prepared for the challenge".

The aim for Narain will be to simply finish the race, and beat his teammate (the Marussia drivers seem a little too far ahead this weekend).

We wish all our drivers the best of luck in the race, of course will have full analysis afterwards.

4 comments:

  1. You think Mercs is a mid-field team?! but they said the car will not suit the track!

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  2. They're ahead of points however on baseline pace they have simmilar pace to Sauber, Williams & Force India. They've just had some great results, like Sauber.

    Plus Force India's target is P5, which Mercedes still occupy - i still think it's possible :-) No reason why Force India can't score like Mercedes have done so far in the second half of the season.

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