Renault Sport Formula One Team was left with work to do after the first day of running at the Grande Prêmio Heineken do Brazil at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Both drivers were knocking on the door of the top ten in FP1, however FP2 proved more of a trial. In the afternoon, Carlos Sainz set the fourteenth fastest time, however Nico Hülkenberg only managed to complete six laps before running off track and damaging his car.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, both drivers ran with the Soft (yellow) and then Supersoft (red) Pirelli tyres.
• In FP2 Carlos ran with the Supersoft and Soft tyres whilst Nico ran with the Medium (white) tyres.
• Nico’s accident damaged front and rear suspension components on the right-hand side of his car, as well as various elements of bodywork, including the front wing, rear wing and the floor.
What we learned today:
• Interlagos can be a punishing track.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P12, 1:10.679, 34 laps
Free practice 2: P20, 1:11.674, 6 laps
Nico: “We weren’t able to get on top of the car today and losing so much track time in FP2 obviously didn’t help the cause. I ran wide and went over the kerb, making the car bottom-out which caught me out. I wasn’t able to avoid the barriers so that’s a shame and I’ve given my crew some work to do. On the plus side, Carlos was able to have a productive day so we’ll be looking at the data and we’re hoping to hit the ground running tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P11, 1:10.662, 34 laps
Free practice 2: P14, 1:10.458, 48 laps
Carlos: “Today wasn’t as straightforward as I wanted and we have some work to do to find a better balance with the car as it’s a difficult place to get the car working as you want at every corner. However, it’s a great circuit to drive and we have a good idea of the areas we need to improve for tomorrow.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “It was an unusually eventful Friday for us with Nico’s shunt, but fortunately he’s fine and we’ll have the car repaired for FP3. Other than that, FP1 had been straightforward and we made progress. In FP2 Carlos was able to show decent long-run pace, but it’s clear we have work to do on our qualifying pace. We also have yet to find the best balance for the car, so we have plenty to keep us occupied ahead of qualifying.”