Sahara Force India Formula One Team

2012 Chinese Grand Prix, Free Practice Report

Sahara Force India completed a busy free practice programme in Shanghai today. Jules Bianchi took part in his first practice session with the team this morning alongside Nico Hulkenberg, while Paul Di Resta returned alongside Nico for the afternoon.
Nico Hulkenberg (VJM05/03)
FP1:     P14      1:40.328            13 laps
FP2:     P9        1:37.191            31 laps
Nico: “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.”
Paul Di Resta (VJM05/02)
FP1:     Did no participate
FP2:     P8        1:36.966            31 laps
Paul: “It was a solid afternoon session and a positive start to our race weekend. The baseline set-up 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.”
Jules Bianchi (VJM05/02)
FP1:     P20      1:44.118            8 laps
FP2:     Did not participate
Jules: “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, 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.”