Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a good start after the summer break”

Nico Hülkenberg - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nico Hülkenberg enjoyed a good opening day at Spa-Francorchamps, which culminated in him finishing third fastest in second practice on Friday.

The Sahara Force India driver was eighth quickest in the opening session with a lap time of 1:50.088, but improved to a 1:48.657 in the afternoon to jump up the order, finishing behind the two Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hülkenberg still feels there is some work to be done overnight to perfect the set-up of his VJM09, but knows the times set indicate the team are already on the right track this weekend as they look to continue closing down the points gap to Williams Martini Racing in their battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“It was a good start after the summer break,” admitted Hülkenberg. “We didn’t have any issues and we were able to work through our programme as planned. We collected the usual data and we made some very good steps between the sessions.

“I wasn’t too happy with the balance in the morning, but we were able to improve it for the afternoon: it’s still not perfect, so there’s a bit of work to do overnight, trying to use the information we got today, but it’s a decent starting point.”