On the Formula 1’s temple of speed, both Sahara Force India drivers completed each session in the top five.
Nico Hülkenberg VJM08-01
FP1: 1:26.612 (P4) 19 laps
FP2: 1:25.325 (P5) 43 laps
“That’s not bad at all. The car had quite good pace today and we collected a lot of information about the tyres on the long runs. We lost a little bit of track time when I had to cut short a run in FP1 and return to the garage, but in the end it wasn’t a problem because we got nice long runs done on both tyre compounds. We were also able to test all the new items we wanted to try out, which was very positive, and now we’re just going to do the usual tweaking overnight to get even more out of the car and improve the balance further. Overall it was a very good, straightforward, useful and productive Friday.”
Sergio Perez VJM08-02
FP1: 1:26.730 (P5) 29 laps
FP2: 1:25.278 (P4) 34 laps
“We’re starting to get a good read on the car now, and that showed with a good run today. I’m still not completely comfortable with a few things – we had a change of brake pad material ahead of the first session and it was difficult at first, but we built up into it and set a really good lap time on the option tyres. I feel there’s potential for even more to come and that we can make further improvements to the balance. To be P4 and P5 in these practice sessions is encouraging, although we can’t read too much into it because we don’t know what the other teams were doing in their programmes. Tomorrow is going to be an important day for us to push forwards.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “It has been a very strong start to our Monza weekend. Both drivers were happy with the balance of the car from the very first laps of the morning’s session, and this enabled us to focus on refining our setup over the rest of the day. During FP1, we performed some aero tests, including various levels of rear-wing downforce.
Nico lost some time towards the end of the morning session, but it didn’t affect our preparations significantly since we were able to recover all lost ground in the afternoon. As usual, the margins are very tight around this track and a few tenths can make a huge difference in terms of grid position. Our focus now turns to getting the most out of the car in qualifying trim to give our drivers the best chances tomorrow.”
Sahara Force India