(© Ben Johnston 2015)
The Sahara Force India Formula One Team endured a difficult final day of the opening Barcelona test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Nico Hulkenberg who was in the VJM07 for the first time this weekend suffered a number of mechanical issues with the car which meant that the team’s activities for the day were disrupted. The car stopped out on track at one point which resulted in the session being red flagged while the car was recovered to the pit-lane.
Despite the problems, Hulkenberg was able to conduct testing with the new 2015 specification Pirelli race tyre. It was also the first time that the Hulk had been back in the garage since the start of the winter break as the Sahara Force India Formula One Team opted to sit out the opening winter test in Jerez two weeks ago.
Hulkenberg managed to complete 36 laps with a fastest time of 1m 26.591s which was the eighth fastest time of the day. Speaking afterwards he said:
‘It was a very nice sensation to be back in a Formula One car and getting the feeling of being in the cockpit again. It was exciting and I really enjoyed my time driving the car and working with the engineers after the winter break. Unfortunately our day was shortened by an issue with the power unit, something we will look into once the car is back at the factory.
This, together with the very windy and cold conditions, made our work harder but every lap is valuable in pre-season. I am really looking forward to the final test next week and to try the new car. I am especially looking forward to Melbourne and starting racing again.’
The team have been extremely busy this week as they have had Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team test and reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez and Nico Hulkenberg in the car. Speaking about the test Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough stated:
‘It was not the most straightforward of days, with a few technical issues costing us track time. A windy morning made it difficult to evaluate some of the items we were testing, but it still made for a useful first experience with the new Pirelli tyres for Nico, and we will be able to extract some data from those laps.
Although we finish this test with a fairly frustrating day for Nico, over these four days we gathered a lot of useful information and we will put that into good practice for the start of the season.’
© Ben Johnston 2015