Suzuka Day 1: Force India report

Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04.

Paul di Resta

Oct.7 (Force India) Drivers and team review their first day of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, round 15 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, at Suzuka.

Free practice objectives:
FP1 – Track acclimatisation for Paul, brake work, car set-up and aerodynamic testing for Nico
FP2 – Tyre comparison, high fuel runs, general car set-up and balance work

Adrian Sutil (VJM04/04)
FP1: Did not take part
FP2: P12     1:33.790     36 laps
Adrian: “Suzuka is always a circuit that brings a smile to my face and I enjoyed driving the car this afternoon. We did the usual programme: some short runs, longer runs, and looked at both tyres. What we discovered is that they both have quite high degradation rates, especially with the high track temperatures we saw today. I suffered with some understeer at the start of the session with the front giving up, so we worked on improving that. We made a step forward by the end of the day, but there’s still quite a lot of work to do overnight to find a better balance.”

Paul Di Resta (VJM04/02)
FP1: P14     1.36.949     22 laps
FP2: P15     1:34.601     33 laps
Paul: “I got my first taste of Suzuka today so the first session was mainly about getting me up to speed with the circuit. I always knew it was quite a technical lap and there’s definitely more time to be found in a lot of the corners, especially the first sector. It was also pretty windy today, more so in the afternoon than the morning, which was blowing the car around a bit. Both cars ran with different programmes and looking at the feedback it seems like the route taken with Adrian’s car is probably the better way forward for the rest of the weekend. Also, I spent a lot of the day fighting the rear and that was partly due to the tyres going away quite quickly – which was the case for both the medium and soft tyres.”

Nico Hulkenberg (VJM04/04)
FP1:  P12     1:36.700     21 laps
FP2:  Did Not Take Part
Nico: “It was quite a positive session for me. We did all the running we planned, which gave us some good data on the tyres and I also did some work evaluating a new material in the brakes. But as always in FP1 the track was quite green and the car was not easy to drive because we didn’t have the perfect balance and that’s what you need to be quick around such a high-speed circuit. In terms of tyres, there was quite a lot of degradation on the mediums, but that will improve as the track rubbers in. Still, I think both sessions have shown it’s not going to be an easy race for the tyres.”

Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director
“Two tidy sessions for the team today, although the wind made things quite tricky, not least in terms of ratio selection for tomorrow! The items we tested have yielded some interesting data and obviously we will now determine what to take forward into the rest of the weekend. Overall we’ve still some scope to improve the balance of the car, but our longer run pace looks okay. It will be a very competitive weekend as we fight for more points at this fantastic circuit.”