E it was a long winter for Nico Hülkenberg. Force India didn't have a car for him. The two weeks of testing with the Le Mans Porsche were pure relaxation. This made it easier to digest the disappointment that the new Force India was delayed. Force India lost a total of eight days of testing with the 2015 car. 'Of course this is not the ideal preparation,' Hülkenberg sums up. 'And that won't leave us without a trace in the first few races. We now have to keep the damage low.'
Hulkenberg learned in mid-January that the new VJM08 was behind schedule. The traditional chassis manufacturer had problems with a production machine after the company moved. As more and more time ran out, Force India had to reschedule to another supplier. And waited again. Initially, only the first test in Jerez was affected. 'Two weeks ago I found out that it wasn't enough for the second either. Luckily we have a Mercedes engine. That's the easiest way to afford such a problem.'
' Connect where we left off in 2014 '
The team's decision to do the second week of testing with the previous year's model was met with Hülkenberg's approval:' If we had skipped the week, it would have been fatal. At least that way we could get to know the tires. Understanding tires is our great strength. And that's where we learned a lot. I hope that we will benefit from that in the first races. Maybe we're not that far ahead on the starting grid, but thanks to our tire experience we should be able to compensate for that in the race as in the previous year. '
The test in the old car is also important from the driver's point of view:' Me I'm hot again and have to drive again. The winter rust must s down. I want to feel the car and internalize the processes. 'The season's goal is clearly set:' We have to pick up where we left off last year. I assume that we will be able to finish in the top ten right from the start. '
And then come the upgrades, of which Hülkenberg expects a lot. Head of Technology Andy Green had auto motor und sport that the entire aerodynamic philosophy has been changed. Also thanks to new staff in the technical office. And the data in the Toyota wind tunnel are promising. 'Our eyes became wideopen ', does Hülkenberg mysteriously.
' All-wheel drive pulls you into the curves '
The long Rhinelander is two-pronged this year. In Spa and Le Mans he is on the road for Porsche. The test drives in Aragon and Bahrain have shown the Formula 1 driver a different world. 'Even the test drives are completely different. You're all alone on the track with a car that you share with two other drivers, you drive much longer stints and have a whole bunch of people just for you. In between there are much longer waiting times. '
The car is also a new experience for Hülkenberg.' With the all-wheel drive, you literally pull into the curve. You have traction control and don't have to be as sensitive with the gas foot as in Formula 1. In fast corners there is a lot of downforce, but this is compensated for by the higher weight. In return, the Porsche seems faster to me in slow corners. Because the all-wheel drive helps. You don't have to wait forever to get on the gas. '