Hulkenberg: the Lotus looks very well sorted

By on Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg stepped into the Force India VJM05 yesterday for the first time. The young German driver should have already made his debut with the new car on Thursday afternoon, but plans changed when Jules Bianchi crashed and significantly damaged the car during the morning session.

After the test, Hulkenberg looked happy even if he admitted he had felt frustrated the previous day.

“You know it happens. I did stuff like that as well. It was frustrating certainly, but I can understand these things happen. Formula 1 is a tricky sport, you need experience,” he said.

He also acknowledged they managed recover much of the time they had lost on Thursday, but not all. “I think you never fully recover that time back. I think the most important test we needed to do, we did them today. But you could always test more if you had the time,” he stated.

Hulkenberg also explained his program for Friday was intended to get him used to the car; to get the feeling of the machine and the new tyres. After running on track for 90 laps, his tone was optimistic.

“I have a positive impression. In the morning, it takes a bit longer until you get used to it. After the lunch break I got into the car with a completely different feeling,” he said. “I think that we have a good base but, of course, I think there are things that we still can and must improve,” he added.

The German driver does not think that the cars have changed that much with the new regulations. “You can notice the blown diffuser is not there, but except for that…,” he thought.

And the new tyres? “They are ok, I think they are closer (in performance),” he explained.

Hulkenberg reckons the Lotus E20 and the Red Bull RB8 are the most promising cars during this week’s tests in Jerez.

“I was on track while the Lotus was running very beautifully. It looks very stable, very well. They are very strong at the moment, but I think that Red Bull is not too far away”, he said.

After driving for Williams during the 2010 season, Nico Hulkenberg had to content himself watching the races on a TV screen last year. He admits it was frustrating not to race. For this year, his targets are clear.

“Enjoy racing. Just go racing again looking forward to Melburne. To get more grands prix under my belt. Hopefully, some points,” he said.

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