Force India focus on race performance in Japan
|Author: Will Hings||Published: 5th October 2018 11:19|
Despite an overcast sky the rain held off, but it was a cool day with low track temperatures.
OTMAR SZAFNAUER, TEAM PRINCIPAL & CEO of Silverstone based F1 Racing Point Force India Suzuka Friday Practice.
“Despite an overcast sky the rain held off, but it was a cool day with low track temperatures. We split the test programme across both cars in FP1 and after that we focussed on race performance – mainly understanding the tyres compounds. We had a fuel system issue on Sergio’s car this afternoon, which cost us some track time, but on the whole the day ran smoothly. There is still some work to be done on the balance tomorrow morning to make sure we come out on top of a very tight midfield fight in qualifying.”
SERGIO PEREZ - Chassis 02
FP1 1:31.272 P13 29 laps
FP2 1:30.510 P11 28 laps
Sergio: “It’s a super feeling to be driving at Suzuka in these cars. It’s one of the greatest tracks and every lap, even in practice, is really enjoyable. The day was pretty normal in terms of the work we did, but there is more to be done to make sure I feel comfortable with the car. We tried quite a lot of things with the set-up and we saw that Esteban was quite competitive so there is already a good baseline for tomorrow. Qualifying is going to be crucial. Putting together the perfect lap isn’t easy and I really want us to be up there as best of the rest tomorrow. The weather is uncertain, but we will just take it as it comes.”
ESTEBAN OCON - Chassis 03
FP1 1:30.591 P7 28 laps
FP2 1:30.035 P7 32 laps
Esteban: “It was a solid day of work to start our Suzuka weekend and I am happy with what we achieved. I am particularly excited because I think there’s still a bit more to come from our side and we can improve the car balance ahead of qualifying. This is a very difficult track to get right when it comes to the set-up, so it will be a challenge for us to get all the details right. The track is mega quick, even more so than last year. It’s very enjoyable to drive. Precision is very important as it’s very easy to make mistakes. You need to be at one with the car, which is never easy, but it’s so rewarding when you get it right.”