Nico Hulkenberg ready for Sepang challenge
Sepang, March 23 (IANS)
Force India's German driver Nico Hulkenberg on Monday said he was looking forward to getting back on the Sepang track after a positive start to the season in which he came seventh in Melbourne. "I am really looking forward to getting back to action in Sepang after a fairly positive start of the season. We knew the VJM08's reliability was one of our strong points and we were able to play that card well.
"We didn't make any mistakes and we had a good strategy, and that helped us capitalise on a day when others ran into trouble. We need to keep our feet on the ground, however, because we know the circumstances in which we got this result and we know the next races will be tough," Hulkenberg said in an official release.
Hulkenberg said he also believes the circuit at Sepang will pose a different challenge than the one in Melbourne, where he last raced.
"The track in Sepang is quite challenging and is very different compared to Melbourne. The various sectors have unique characteristics: there is a nice variation of high and low-speed corners and two very long straights.
"You need to balance your setup between top speed and downforce to make the most of your car in each of them. The high temperatures and humidity add to the challenges of this track, and you always have a threat of rain, especially at the start of the race," he said.
"I have spent the week after Melbourne in Indonesia, having a bit of a holiday, but also training and getting used to the climate. It's always better to stay on the local time zone and I'm feeling in good shape for this weekend."
Teammate Sergio Perez, who clinched the 10th spot in the last race, believes the weather will make it difficult this time around in Sepang and said it feels special coming back to the place where he had a podium finish in 2012.
"Malaysia is a very special place for me. It is where I got my first podium in Formula One, in one of the best races of my career in 2012, so I will always have happy memories about this circuit. The track is really interesting and the three sectors each have their own character.
"The track is physical but it has some very technical parts as well. You also have some very long straights at the end of the lap that offer a lot of opportunities for overtaking," said Perez.
He said the Sepang weather with its heat and humidity was a major challenge.
"When you are racing in Sepang it is something that is always in the back of your mind, because you know a sudden rainstorm can throw up some unexpected strategies and opportunities you can exploit.
"The heat and the humidity are a big challenge, but as a driver you are prepared for this. You work really hard during the pre-season and every day with your trainer to be at your best in these circumstances, so I know I am ready."