Force India finished the two Friday practice sessions at the NÃ¼rburgring either just inside or just outside the top ten today and all three drivers used seemed pretty positive as they spoke after the session.
Adrian Sutil was the only one of the three who has driven an F1 car around this track before. He had some problems with the balance of his car, but still finished the day P8 on the timesheets.
“I struggled with some understeer in the car today through both sessions so we worked hard on trying to resolve those issues,” he said. “We played around with a few things, changed the ride heights and found some improvements. The morning programme focussed on running with our new floor and everything looks quite positive with that. The afternoon was more preparation work for the race and getting the usual data for the tyres with some longer runs.”
Team-mate Paul di Resta sat out the morning session while Nico Hulkenberg was in the car. The Scot has never driven the track before, but was pleased how his session went. He finished the day in P12, completing 34 laps.
“It was my first time on the full Grand Prix circuit here at the Nurburging so part of today was about getting up to speed and confident on the track,” he explained. “From the start of the session the balance of the car felt quite stable, especially through the higher speed corners. We tried to improve the performance of the car in the low speed corners and worked on braking stability to avoid rear locking. Overall the car has been working well today and it gives us a good basis to build on overnight.”
Hulkenberg had also never taken an F1 car around this circuit before and, despite a KERS issue early in the morning session, felt that he had a productive 90 minutes in the car before handing it over to Di Resta.
“I enjoyed the session and it was fun to drive the Nurburgring for the first time with a Formula One car,” said the German. “But it was a tricky start because I lost the KERS for my first run, which changed the car behaviour quite a bit. Fortunately we got the KERS back for the rest of my runs.
“One of the objectives of the day was doing a comparison of the new floor on Adrian's car this morning while I ran with the older version. That gave us some useful data. Then I did my final run on the new soft development tyre, which felt pretty good.”
Circuit Engineering Director Dominic Harlow reckons that the team are progressing nicely with the performance of their car around this track, and feels that Force India had a productive day.
“It has been quite cold here today and we were fortunate to get away without any rain showers,” he said. “The team worked very hard to deliver a broad programme, with the time both in and out of the sessions used very productively, which should be a good basis for our weekend.
“Although we haven’t been here for a couple of years, the car balance was quite understeery as usual and we have some work to do to adapt to the long cambered corners on this track. Overall it seems we are heading in the right direction.”