• First Bahrain Test - Day Two

Hulkenberg 'not cheering' for fast times

ESPN Staff
February 20, 2014 « Mercedes still exceeding expectations - Rosberg | Problems far from over - Vettel »
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Despite two days at the top end of the timing sheets, Nico Hulkenberg insists it is only the performance of the Force India which currently concerns him.

Hulkenberg was quickest on Wednesday and finished behind Kevin Magnussen on the second day in Bahrain, though Force India has not recorded as many laps as others on the grid. Although the 2014 cars are clearly getting quicker Hulkenberg believes the speed will continue to come naturally, and that the team's focus should remain elsewhere for the rest of the week.

"I think we are getting closer to the potential, you can already see more from Jerez what these cars can deliver but there's such a stiff learning curve that I think people will keep getting faster and faster," he said. "Even yesterday with my P1, I'm not cheering, we are not focusing on performance at the moment. It's the first couple of tests and these are early tests so it's about taking these things onwards.

"The lap times are not worth a lot in these days, it's all about checking systems, understanding data. It's not a lot to be at the top of the time sheets at the moment."

The high-torque cars have caused problems for some drivers in slower corners so far and Hulkenberg admits he is still adjusting to the different style required, especially with some of the extreme wheel spin he has experienced.

"I had one experience of double wheel spin and pulling black marks for 100 metres out of a slow speed corner, which was quite fun, but not ideal for performance! These engines are quite tourquey but I think they will get easier as the season goes on."

Aside from a few shaky moments, Hulkenberg admits he and the team is also feeling good about the new brake-by-wire system which has been legalised for 2014.

"It's not too bad for us to be honest. I got the impression, at least on my two days running [in Bahrain], that we are quite on top of it. Sometimes you have some moments and some real lock-ups but its still early days and we are still learning, but overall not too bad at all. It's just another thing to learn and get to grips with, it all feels like it's new at the moment so you don't dwell on one aspect like that too much."

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