The Sahara Force India Formula One Team had a productive opening day at the Marina Bay circuit ahead of Sunday’s Singapore night race.
In the opening session Nico Hulkenberg set the eighth fastest time with a 1m 49.854s completing 21 laps while in the second session this evening the German set the ninth fastest time completing 35 laps with a fastest time of 1m 47.294s and speaking following the day of action the Hulk commented by saying:
It has been a pretty straightforward day of practice – getting through the programme with no dramas and collecting a lot of data. The performance looks good, but it’s only Friday and I would expect everybody to step up their game tomorrow ahead of qualifying. The car has shown good potential, but there is still work to be done to improve the balance, especially during the long runs where I didn’t feel totally happy. On the whole though, we’ve done a lot of our homework and things are going to plan.
In the opening session this morning Sergio ‘Checoo’ Perez set the twelfth fastest time of the session with a time of 1m 50.150s completing 23 laps. In the ‘afternoon’ session the Mexican completed 30 laps with the sixth fastest time of the session with the sixth fastest time of 1m 46.659s.
Speaking following the day of track action he commented by saying:
It was a solid day of practice and I’m happy with the work we’ve done today. There are still some things we need to change and analyse to improve for tomorrow, but I’m already feeling confident with the car. Track conditions were very good and the temperatures were quite cool compared with previous years. We managed to do long runs on both tyre compounds so we’ve got a lot of information to prepare for the race.
Force India head into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix in fifth place in the championship on 63 points 59 behind the Red Bull Racing team. Speaking following the day of running Team Principal and Managing Director of Force India Dr Vijay Mallya commented by saying:
Today was a very important day and it was satisfying to complete our programme without any major interruptions. We had several new upgrades to evaluate and a very comprehensive run plan in order to obtain a lot of data, not just for this weekend but also for the remainder of the season. Both drivers were quite happy and comfortable with the car right from the start and they steadily improved the balance as the two sessions progressed. The first indications from the timesheets show that, as predicted, the midfield battle in qualifying will be very close and every fraction of a second will count. We’re also well aware that track position is crucial as there aren’t many overtaking opportunities around the circuit, which makes qualifying well all the more important.