30 September


2016 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix: Free Practice Report


Sahara Force India had a productive first day of action in Sepang, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hülkenberg firmly inside the top ten in both practice sessions.


Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
FP1: 1:37.513 (P8) 26 laps
FP2: 1:36.390 (P9) 37 laps

Nico: “It’s been a good day. We didn’t have any issues with the car; we ticked all the boxes on our programme and went through all the tyre compounds to collect the necessary information. It has been a straightforward day – the way you want a Friday to be. The new track surface made driving here a lot smoother because it used to be very bumpy! It’s a nice feeling, but with such strong sunshine and high temperatures you can feel the tarmac soaking up all the heat – it makes it really hot inside the car! The changes to the final corner have made it a real challenge: it’s the one corner where you can lose a good lap, right at the end, so you need to be very careful when turning in.”


Sergio Perez VJM09-02
FP1: 1:37.601 (P9) 27 laps
FP2: 1:36.284 (P6) 33 laps

Sergio: “It’s a promising start to our weekend. The track is very different compared to last year, so today was all about learning as much as we could. The changes have made this circuit much more fun to drive; I think it’s a big improvement compared to the past. We had a busy session and, despite the red flag interruption in the morning, we collected a good amount of information. Our short and long-run pace seems good and gives me confidence we will be strong this weekend, especially in qualifying tomorrow. Our focus, though, is on the race: that’s when we need to be at our best. We need to make some adjustments tonight, but I think we’re getting there.”


Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It’s been a positive day overall. We had a busy testing plan and managed to complete it – that involved understanding the three tyre compounds on what is a very different circuit compared to the one we raced on last year. The organisers have done a great job resurfacing the track, getting rid of all the big bumps and adding a big challenge in turn 15, with the adverse camber. The tyres are behaving as we expected them to and the drivers were happy with the balance of the car. Of course, there is still plenty of work needed to extract more performance, especially in qualifying trim, and it’s something we will focus on tonight.”
posted at 17:20:23 on 09/30/16 by webmaster - Category: races