A large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon as they took to the Silverstone circuit for two free practice sessions. Esteban replaced Kevin in the morning’s session, finishing in nineteenth position with a lap of 1:35.980. Kevin took back the wheel in the later practice to finish in twentieth. Jolyon, who participates in his first British Grand Prix this weekend, ended the day P16 and P18.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes
We completed our usual Friday programme with both cars running reliably ; going through set-up work and aero tests in the morning session with high-fuel runs and tyres being the focus in the afternoon’s practice.
The wind proved problematic in FP2.
Pirelli’s medium (white) and soft (yellow) compound tyres were used in both the first and second sessions.
Esteban Ocon, #45, R.S.16-01
Free practice 1 : P19, 1:35.980, 31 laps
Esteban : “Overall it was a productive day for myself and for the team, who were happy with how the day went. We had a clean day and were able to run through all the procedures and the run plan as expected. I learnt a lot today – it was the first time I have driven the car on a very fast track and I felt like I was getting close to the limits in the high speed sections. It’s difficult to get right, but I have to keep pushing and keep learning. I’m looking forward to driving some more FP1 sessions and getting more experience.”
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-01
Free practice 2 : P20, 1:34.959, 41 laps
Kev : “Overall we had a good session working through our programme. The rear of the car felt a little more unpredictable and made it a bit tricky to drive this afternoon. It was very windy during the session this afternoon and that of course had a bit of an impact on the running today. Hopefully it’ll come down a little bit for the rest of the weekend. We did work on the tyres and the softer compound didn’t last very long for me – only just about five laps. I had a better run on the medium tyres and they felt easier to manage. There’s more work to be done in preparation for Saturday so that’s what I’ll concentrate on with my engineers to be ready for tomorrow. “
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-02
Free practice 1 : P16, 1:34.787, 29 laps
Free practice 2 : P18, 1:34.610, 41 laps
Jo : “Silverstone is a great track, with loads of great fans and I enjoyed driving out there today. It was a typical Friday for us on track. We tried out two different tyre compounds and low fuel levels, plus a run on high fuel. We were on the medium for most of the day : it has a low working range so it is difficult to build up temperatures and the car can feel inconsistent to drive at the start. It got very windy out there at times too, which didn’t help. The soft gives very good grip over one lap but then degrades quickly. I think it was an OK result ; it looks like we are in a similar position to normal. I am sure we can find something tomorrow, and we have to maximise what we can do. It looks as though we’ll have British weather all weekend but a bit of rain mixing it up would be good for us !”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director : “Esteban did a brilliant job for us this morning. He was quick enough and didn’t put a foot wrong despite not having been in the car for some time. He will continue to grow in confidence as he takes part in more sessions. Both Jolyon and Kevin similarly did a very solid job in at times difficult weather conditions and completed their programmes according to plan ; we have some further work planned to improve our performance, particularly in low-speed corners, which should see us better our lap times tomorrow.”