Renault Sport Formula One Team experienced a scorching hot Bahrain International Circuit to open the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Temperatures ran as high as ever seen in F1 during the afternoon FP1 session, but it was cooler in the evening FP2. Nico ended the day as the quicker Renault Sport Formula One Team driver with a 1min 31.883secs, the sixth fastest time of FP2.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
- In FP1, we ran a compact programme in the hot conditions with no issue despite track temperatures of around 56°C.
- Both drivers used Pirelli’s Medium and Soft compound tyres in FP1.
- In FP2 both drivers worked on more extensive programmes with Pirelli’s Soft and Supersoft tyres used and no issues experienced.

What we learned today:
- The R.S.17 ran reliably today and when it’s hot it Bahrain, it’s really hot.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-02
Free practice 1: P12, 1:34.927, 13 laps
Free practice 2: P6, 1:31.883, 37 laps

Nico: “That was a pretty straightforward Friday aside from doing less in FP1 because of the extreme heat. Everything was more together with the car and how it felt on track this evening compared to the afternoon so we can look forward to tomorrow and Sunday. The car felt pretty decent today, but of course there’s always room for improvement ahead of qualifying.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01
Free practice 1: P15, 1:35.068, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:32.876, 38 laps

Jo: “The car was a bit of a handful in FP1 so I don’t think it liked the heat so much! FP2 was productive as we were able to make good progress in the understanding of set-up and we still have further potential to come. Conditions are definitely better when it’s cooler and fortunately that’s when qualifying and the race takes place.”

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “Bahrain presents a unique challenge by having FP1 and FP3 in hotter conditions than we see in the race or qualifying, meaning the cooler FP2 is more valuable for track time. We got through a decent programme in FP2, so have plenty of qualifying and race simulation data to be analysing overnight. We’re quite happy that we’ve made a step forward with the set-up and balance of the car and expect further progress tomorrow.”