Nico Hülkenberg felt that sitting out the opening free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend was not that disadvantageous, especially as conditions in the session are not likely to reflect what will face the drivers in either qualifying or the race.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer, racing for the Silverstone-based team for the final time before departing for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2017, sat out the first session at the Yas Marina Circuit in favour of test driver Alfonso Celis Jr.
Hülkenberg finished ninth fastest in the evening session, just behind team-mate Sergio Perez, and feels the team have started the weekend with a good grasp on the set-up required to have a strong final race weekend of the season.
“I was in the car for the evening session only, but it wasn’t a big disadvantage because that’s when the track conditions are representative of what we’ll experience in qualifying and the race,” said Hülkenberg.
“I felt quite good with the car straight away and I was able to find a good rhythm quickly. There’s still some work to do with the balance, because it’s not where I want it to be yet, but we should be able to find some extra grip overnight.”