Nico Hulkenberg is staying cautious about Force India's form in the Japanese Grand Prix following a strong start to the weekend on Friday.
The German driver posted the fourth quickest time of the day as team-mate Paul di Resta failed to set a time after crashing out at the start of the second session.
Hulkenberg is optimistic that Friday's work is a good base ahead of the weekend, but the Force India driver downplayed the significance of today's times.
"It's early in the weekend," Hulkenberg told AUTOSPORT after practice. "I wouldn't like to say something now and then everything is different in the next two days. So I'm always a bit careful.
"It's a good starting point, but we need to carry it through the next two days and obviously Sunday is the most important day to get the points."
Hulkenberg is also optimistic that Force India's problems with tyre degradation are behind now, despite the nature of the Suzuka circuit.
"It's difficult to say, especially here. This is a tyre-killing race, with all the high-speed corners," he said. "Paul looked alright in Singapore. I certainly was OK as well, even if on a different strategy. So we are alright."