Nico Hulkenberg was the busiest driver on the third day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya, completing 158 laps of the Spanish circuit, and ended the day with the seventh fastest time in his Sahara Force India.
The German felt the day was encouraging, especially with getting so much mileage on the new car that debuted on Friday, and is optimistic about the potential of the VJM08.
“It was a very positive day in terms of reliability and getting a lot of mileage under our belts,” said Hulkenberg. “It was our first full day of testing so our main focus remained on getting to know the car, the way we set it up and its characteristics.
“I think we made some good progress in this regard and we managed to get a decent understanding of how the VJM08 feels under different conditions. That’s definitely a positive, although it remains very hard to judge where everyone is in terms of performance.”
Hulkenberg will return to the car during practice for the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks time, and is looking forward to getting back into real racing rather than testing, and hopes to be competitive in Melbourne.
“Next time I will step in the car will be in Melbourne: I am very excited to fly to Australia as that’s when you get the racing feeling again,” insisted Hulkenberg. “I am really looking forward to getting going and being back in a competition; that is something I relish.
“Hopefully the work we did in the last few weeks will pay off and we will be in a position for fight for a good result.”
Hulkenberg will hand over the car to Sergio Perez for the final day of pre-season testing, with the Mexican getting his first taste of the VJM08 on Sunday.