Hulkenberg points out area where Haas 'have a lot of work to do' despite taking P5 in FP2
Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen believe the team have some “homework” to do ahead of Sunday’s race in Bahrain, even after a solid showing from the American outfit on the first day of running at the Sakhir circuit.
Hulkenberg was 14th in the first practice session, but followed that up with a strong qualifying simulation run in FP2 that saw him end the session P5. While the German was happy with his one lap pace, he said there was some race pace left on the table.
“I wish I had taken a few tenths out to be honest and kept them in my pocket,” Hulkenberg joked. “It’s one lap pace… it’s fine, and it’s fun, it’s nice.
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"But… on Sunday, that’s obviously where the goal is, and where it matters, and I feel that’s where we have a lot of work to do, and some homework.
“I need to find pace and deg as well that we need to work on. [There are] things to take away from here and to build on, and progress. I was just told that the delta was quite large from the medium to the soft and it felt that way."
The German added: “It’s fun when you get fresh rubber and you just have a lot of grip, that’s when a Formula 1 car really comes alive and you can play with it, it’s just dynamic and fun to toss it around. But like I said, [on] long runs still some homework to do.”
Team mate Magnussen was seventh in FP1, but struggled with the set-up on his VF-23 in FP2, ending the session down in P16. However, the Danish driver remained confident that they would put it all together for qualifying tomorrow.
“First, FP1 was looking pretty good for us. We’ve been trying, we’ve been testing quite a bit today – tried some good things, tried some bad things, and we’ll put it together tomorrow,” said Magnussen, who made a stunning return to F1 with P5 in last year's Bahrain Grand Prix.
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“I think we did some good tests today and some of the things the team were working on between the test and here, we tried them out today and we got a few answers there.
"But there’s a lot more to try. It’s only FP1 and [FP2] and there’s only so much you can do. FP2 was not really the preferred set-up that we tried there, but FP1 was good, and again we’ll put it together tomorrow. But we’ll try and put it together tomorrow and we’re in a decent spot,” concluded Magnussen.