01 April


2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix: Free Practice Report


Sahara Force India enjoyed a productive day of practice in Bahrain with Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Alfonso Celis covering a combined total of 123 laps in preparation for Sunday’s race.

Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-01
FP1: 1:34.601 (P6) 28 laps
FP2: 1:33.570 (P17) 37 laps

Nico: “The two sessions today were routine by free practice standards. It’s good, especially at this early stage in the season, to go through two sessions without any hiccups: it means we have lots of information to help us find some more speed overnight. It’s hard to judge where we stand at the moment in terms of absolute pace, but we’ve done all our homework in terms of running the different tyre compounds, which means we are well prepared for the rest of the weekend.”

Sergio Perez VJM09-02
FP1: Did not take part
FP2: 1:33.406 (P15) 35 laps

Sergio: “Even though I sat out the first session today, I believe we managed to catch up in the evening with a very busy FP2. The lap times are not where we want them to be, even if it is very early in the weekend, so we will be working hard this evening to make sure we are competitive in qualifying. The car balance is good, so we should be aiming to find some lap time and be back in the top ten tomorrow.”

Alfonso Celis VJM09-02
FP1: 1:37.287 (P21) 23 laps
FP2: Did not take part

Alfonso: “Today was my first opportunity to drive the car during an official practice session and I really enjoyed the experience. Even compared to testing there were a lot more things to be aware of today, but I’m pleased with how things went. The team asked me to work through an aero programme to get some data from the new parts at the front of the car. So I left some margin with my driving because the priority was to get the information for the team. I’m already looking forward to my next time in the car in Russia.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“First of all, I want to congratulate Alfonso for a good performance in FP1: he did all that the team was asking of him and he produced useful feedback for our engineers, which is what we need from a young driver. Both sessions were trouble-free from our perspective and we have a vast amount of data to draw upon as we prepare for tomorrow. There is still work to do before we can be satisfied with our pace, but I am confident we can make up that ground and be qualifying in the top ten tomorrow.”

posted at 22:29:24 on 04/01/16 by webmaster - Category: races