N ico Hülkenberg spools on Friday (02.26. ) had his last day of testing before his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain. But the tall blond boy is calm. Like an old hand, he chats about his experiences after exactly 2,875 kilometers since the test start in Valencia.
'On the first day in Barcelona we filled up the gas for the first time to get a feel for the balance of the car with less gas.' Hülkenberg managed the second best time in Williams , a second behind Mark Webber. So far, the 22-year-old youngster is reasonably satisfied: 'We don't have a huge construction site, but we still have to improve everywhere.'
Compromise on balance
Much more important than the lap time itself, however, is whether the balance of the car changes significantly depending on the fuel weight. 'You can never get it 100 percent accurate,' says Hülkenberg. 'Everything is a big compromise: the setup, the weight distribution.' The reigning GP2 champion believes the first 20 laps of the race will be crucial. Then when the cars are packed with up to 165 kilograms of fuel.
'If you overdo it, the tires may be ruined in such a way that they never come back. If the car is really heavy and you get caught slipping into the fast corners, then you can already feel how tires suffer. ' Colleague Nico Rosberg can even imagine that you prefer to drive cautiously on the first laps in order to benefit later: 'And if you have to give up a place. It is important that the tires survive.' The right balance between attack and caution will be the trump card.
Pit stop training with video analysis
No problem for the oldies. For someone like Hulkenberg it will be one of many lessons. 'Maybe you can attack for two or three laps and then have to slow down. We won't find out anything until the races.' 'Hülk' has already practiced pit stops in Jerez. About 15 in a row. 'It's a bit different than in GP2. There are four guys there who change your tires. In Formula 1 there are so many people in front of the car that you can't see anything.'
The most important thing is parking: 'The more precise the better. We film it, and afterwards there is maneuver criticism.' There is no problem with thatFitness. In Jerez, the Formula 1 newcomer covered 617 kilometers in one day. And still he didn't get out of his car. 'I trained well. On the day in Jerez I was surprised myself how well I was doing. Okay, at the beginning, when the car is heavy, the centrifugal forces are not that bad. But later, when the tires wear out, then you have you already have a lot to do in the cockpit. '
The adrenaline is still missing
The most exciting moment is still ahead of Hülkenberg. His first GP start. No matter how many starts you can simulate at the exit of the pit lane, it will never be the same as driving towards the first corner with 25 other cars at once: 'At the trial starts, there is no adrenaline, the excitement, the other cars, the history the warm-up lap. '