Sahara Force India Free Practice Report

Sahara Force India completed a busy practice programme in Abu Dhabi with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg completing a combined total of 116 laps.Sergio Perez VJM07-02FP1: 1:45.983 (P9) 23 lapsFP2: 1:43.746 (P11) 37 lapsSergio: “It was a busy day, but I think we did a good job of getting the information we needed and understanding the changing temperatures throughout the day. Tyres will clearly play a big part with quite high degradation over the long runs and that will be the main challenge on Sunday. So it’s important to analyse the tyre performance and see where we can improve. We also need to focus on our single lap pace with the target of Q3 tomorrow, but it’s looking very competitive to try and get in the top ten.”Nico Hülkenberg VJM07-04FP1: 1:46.030 (P10) 24 lapsFP2: 1:44.068 (P13) 32 lapsNico: “The first session went well, but my car felt quite different this evening and not so easy to drive. It’s something we need to analyse and understand because it certainly had an impact on performance and lap time. Despite these issues I was still able to get a feeling for the tyres, which have been more of a challenge than we expected. It was very cool this evening at the end of FP2 and that was a big factor on tyre performance.”Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer“We made a good start to our Abu Dhabi programme with no significant issues to report and encouraging performance on the track. Both drivers are generally happy, although we need to find a better direction for Nico tonight to make sure he is comfortable before qualifying. The afternoon session was the most relevant, being run in temperatures more representative of qualifying and the race, and we collected all the relevant tyre information and long run data. Our long run performance needs some work, but the soft tyre certainly appears to be the more consistent of the compounds. Tonight we need to make sure the car is optimised for qualifying because it’s a circuit that’s always proved difficult for overtaking and grid position will be vital for a successful result come Sunday.”