Renault Sport Formula One Team’s preparations for the 2018 Formula 1 Heineken Italian Grand Prix got underway at a rainy, cloud-covered Autodromo di Monza today.

Heavy rain lashed the 5.793km circuit in the early morning, soaking the track and limiting running. Conditions bettered for the afternoon, allowing both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz to run through the standard practice programme of tyre comparisons and aero and mechanical work.

Nico finished the day with the tenth quickest time, 1:23.063, with Carlos just one tenth behind in twelfth.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• The first session was very wet at the start, but dried towards the end. We used Pirelli’s Wet (blue) and Intermediate (green) tyres on both cars.
• The car behaved well in the wet and both drivers finished in the top ten.
• We completed our programme in the drier afternoon practice. We conducted some aero tests across both cars at the start and then the standard qualifying and race simulations.
• The cars ran with slightly different downforce levels to assess the trade-off between top speed and cornering performance.
• In FP2 Nico ran the Supersoft (red) and Medium (white) tyre compounds, with Carlos taking the Soft (yellow) and Supersoft Pirelli rubber.

What we learned today:
We made good progress over the day despite the disruptions of the rain and red flags.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-04
Free practice 1: P9, 1:36.107, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P10, 1:23.063, 30 laps

Nico: “This morning we ran a little to get some data on both wet and intermediate tyres, but it was pretty standard feedback; not much to report. When it dried in the afternoon we got the chance to test out some new aero parts, which seemed to work well. Of course, we need to look through the data to get the most from the car for tomorrow, but it was a good start for now.”

Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P8, 1:35.995, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P12, 1:23.193, 32 laps

Carlos: “In the morning it was obviously very wet, but it was good to get some laps in these conditions. The car was behaving well, as it did in the wet in Hungary. In the dry we completed the whole programme. It was a good day and now we need to look through everything to see where we can find some more time. We have tried some new parts across both cars and tomorrow we will put it all together and try to push for the top 10.”

Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “The rain at the start of the first session meant we didn’t learn a great deal, but we did manage to do some mechanical work. As we have seen at other tracks when it’s been wet, the car was actually going well. In the later session we were able to do most of the normal programme, although it was slightly shortened due to the red flag at the start. We were running different wing levels on the cars and we will look at the set ups in more detail to improve our car balance for tomorrow."

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