Greater Noida: In his maiden sojourn at the Buddh International Circuit here, Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg is satisfied with the free practice on Friday and said he was shaping up well for the qualifying session at the Indian Grand Prix on Friday.
Hulkenberg, who ended eighth at the second practice session, said that he had achieved what he had wanted to do on Friday. "It was my first experience of the Buddh circuit today and I have to say they have done a really nice job. There's a good flow to the lap and the second sector is very technical and challenging," he said after the practice session.
"The programme for me today was quite straightforward because we managed to do everything we wanted. I completed a decent long run on the soft tyres this afternoon and I think we are quite well prepared going into tomorrow," said the German.
Hulkenberg was struggling initially but made a move upward when he clocked 1:27.233 to be 8th. He was 14th in the first free practice. His team-mate Paul Di Resta rued that he could not do more laps in the second practice due to the tyre puncture.
"It was not an easy session for me. The balance is still not perfect and we need to work hard tonight to try and improve that before final practice. The main issue of the day was the puncture I picked up half-way through FP2 because I missed out on my high-fuel run on the soft tyres," said Di Resta who did 32 laps and ended 11th in the second practice.
"Also, it was hard to get a clean lap during my low fuel run because the track was so busy. We've got data with the other car but it would have been helpful to have run more laps and got a proper feel for the soft," he said.
Force India Chief Engineer Jakob Andreasen said that his team picked up enough data from the practice today to plan for the main race.
"The circuit was quite green this morning with very low grip so that made it difficult to learn too much. The priority was to get Nico up-to-speed quickly and pick up some data on a few test items, which all went to plan," he said.
"The afternoon was less straightforward, largely because Paul picked up a puncture after his low fuel run on the soft tyres. That meant he missed out on his long run. Fortunately, we got all the data we needed with Nico's programme, but it certainly put Paul on the back foot".
"In terms of car balance we still have some work to do to get the car where we want it, but we have the data we need to make sure we can pick the right options for tomorrow."
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