Perez confident, Hülkenberg cautious after promising day in Japan

Sergio Perez - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sergio Perez feels positive for the weekend to come in Japan after a strong performance on track during Friday’s two free practice sessions at the Suzuka International Racing Course.

The Sahara Force India driver finished eighth in the opening session and sixth in the second, and felt everything was working well with high and low fuel and with all compounds of tyre.

“It’s looking like a promising weekend based on our performance today,” said Perez. “Of course, the track conditions were very good and you never know what the rest of the weekend will bring, but today everything was working well.

“We looked quite competitive in most conditions – on high and low fuel – and on all the tyre compounds. The set-up of the car was very good from the start of the day and we’ve not moved far away from this.”

Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg also showed good pace, finishing seventh in both sessions, and agreed with Perez that the team showed some initial promise of competitiveness in Japan, although the German is more cautious about predicting where the team will be for the rest of the weekend.

“There’s not a huge amount to say really because it was a routine, standard day of practice,” said Hulkenberg. “We just worked through the run plan with no dramas and collected all the information on the different tyre compounds.

“We looked competitive, but it’s only practice, so I would expect much tighter margins tomorrow when we get to qualifying. I’m feeling positive, though, because we’ve started well and I’m already pretty happy with the car balance.”