Nico Hulkenberg is confident that Force India will have another strong weekend in Barcelona, while Sergio Perez is just happy to be back racing at the European circuits.
Nico Hulkenberg: “I’ve enjoyed the first part of the year. It’s probably gone better than we were expecting after winter testing and it’s good to keep picking up the points. I’m fourth with 36 points and I think that’s a big achievement. The car has worked well everywhere and we’ve made the most of the opportunities. Consistency is surely one of our strengths at the moment.
“I think this team has always been hungry and that’s still very much the case. We’re up in third in the championship and we want to stay there. The hard work over the winter is paying off, but we know that Formula One is always a development race and things can change from one weekend to the next. So we need to keep working hard to maintain our good position.”
“Even though we know the place inside out, it remains a tough, tricky circuit and one of those places where it’s especially important to optimise the car balance. If you don’t feel totally comfortable with the car it really hurts your laptime. Barcelona is the true test for downforce because of the quick corners in the first and second sectors. Traction is also important in the final part of the lap with the low-speed corners and we should be strong there.”
Sergio Perez: “I love coming back to Europe to race on some of the classic circuits. I enjoy Barcelona and for me it’s one of the best circuits on the whole calendar. It’s very complete with a mix of everything and some very long, quick corners. It’s tough physically, especially on the neck with so many right hand corners, but it’s a fun place to drive a Formula One car. It’s always a race where teams bring new updates so it’s going to be interesting to see how everyone will perform there.
“On the one hand I’m happy. The podium in Bahrain was very important; it helped me get to know the team properly and gave us all something special to celebrate. At the same time I feel there is more to come and that we’ve yet to achieve our full potential. Bahrain has been the only weekend where everything has worked out perfectly. If we can have more weekends like that I think we can get some more great results.
“It’s not any harder or any easier than last year; it’s just different. The grip has changed and the sound is different, but it’s still a Formula One car and the competition element has not changed a bit. It already feels normal to me after just four races.”