Still room for improvement for Hülkenberg despite positive Friday

Nico Hülkenberg - Credit: Sahara Force India

Nico Hülkenberg finished inside the top six in both free practice sessions in Mexico on Friday, and continued to show his strong form that he had last weekend in the United States.

The Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team racer set the fifth fastest time in the opening session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday morning, before going sixth in the afternoon, just behind Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Hülkenberg admitted it was quite a tricky day due to the track conditions in Mexico, but felt they got a lot of data to work with for the remainder of the weekend, especially in regards to the tyres, and hopes for more progress to be made on Saturday so to be in position to get a good qualifying position.

“The main focus on Friday is to complete your programme without issues, and from this perspective we had a good day,” said Hülkenberg. “Most of the challenges we are facing are the same as last year – the altitude makes a big difference to the feel of the car with a loss of downforce – so we need to adapt to the conditions to find the ideal balance for the car.

“The rest of the day was quite standard, mostly learning about the tyre compounds, and I feel we did a good job with it. The morning session didn’t tell us much: the track was very cold and very dirty, so getting good information was difficult. We were able to assess the tyres in the afternoon and there wasn’t any particular surprise.

“In terms of car balance, we have made a good start but I am not completely happy yet: there is still a good margin for improvement and I hope we can dial our car in to find it overnight.”