Nico Hulkenberg says he enjoyed a "good and successful" test with Arrow McLaren SP at Barber Motorsports Park, describing the team's IndyCar machine as a very physical "steering monster".
The Aston Martin F1 reserve driver, who hadn't sat in a cockpit since his outing with the Silverstone-based outfit at last year's Eifel Grand Prix, was handed an outing with AMSP for evaluation purposes, with the team planning to field a third car in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2023.
Despite the unfamiliar environment, Hulkenberg was delighted to hit the track once again on Monday.
"It’s been a year since I’ve been in a race car ,so first of all that was quite nice again," he said, quoted by RACER.
"Obviously quite different from a Formula 1 car, just the whole sensation, the experience, the sound, the seating position – everything is different.
"So I had to get my head around that, but I think it was a good and successful day from my point of view, and I’m happy to have had the opportunity here today. It was great fun."
The German driver put a total of 100 laps under his belt at Barber, but inevitably required a bit of time to settle in and grow accustomed to a piece of equipment very different than an F1 machine.
"It took definitely the morning," he said. "There was some other stuff here such as with the aeroscreen, there was not much air coming in and I had trouble with that in the morning, so it was a little bit difficult and tricky to feel immediately very happy in the car from a physical point of view.
"Then by lunchtime I felt like I made some good progress, and felt a bit more in the groove, and also the lap times and the performance started to come in by then.
"I definitely need to hit the gym! I can confirm that these are steering monsters. Wow!
"It’s always different when you experience it yourself, but the steering loads are pretty impressive, very heavy.
"With these cars the G-forces are still there, obviously not as extreme as F1 but still there is G going on, and the steering loads combined with that make it a very physical car."
Despite the fundamental differences between IndyCar and F1, Hulkenberg found the working approach similar between the two categories.
"Very professional," he said. "Pretty F1-style, I would say.
"Obviously it’s different out here over by the pit wall and stuff, but in terms of how they work and what you talk about and everything, it’s very similar to Formula 1."