Nico Hulkenburg, Sahara Force India F1 Team

2012 Spanish Grand Prix, Free Practice Report

Sahara Force India enjoyed a busy day of free practice under the Spanish sunshine as the team evaluated its latest developments and worked through the usual set-up and tyre programmes.

Nico Hulkenberg (VJM05/03)

FP1:     P10      1:25.339            24 laps

FP2:     P10        1:24.365            22 laps

Nico: “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.”

Paul Di Resta (VJM05/02)

FP1:     Did not participate

FP2:     P15      1:24.688            30 laps

Paul: “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.”

Jules Bianchi (VJM05/02)

FP1:     P18      1:26.630            21 laps

FP2:     Did not participate

Jules: “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, 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.”