Renault Sport Formula One Team partook in a positive first day of the Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps with the evaluation of a new specification floor one of the primary considerations for the day. Carlos Sainz was the quicker of the team’s two drivers in the afternoon, with Nico Hülkenberg the more rapid in the morning.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Nico evaluated the latest specification floor, using Pirelli’s Supersoft (red) tyres, whilst Carlos used the previous specification floor with the Soft (yellow) and Supersoft tyres.
• In FP2, Carlos ran with the new floor, using the Medium (white) and Supersoft tyres, whilst Nico ran with the older specification floor and the Soft and Supersoft tyres.
• Nico used the Renault R.S.18-04 chassis for the first time in a Grand Prix session, after it was previously used at the post-Hungarian GP test.
What we learned today:
• The new floor appears to work well and we have a strong basis for progress over the weekend.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-04
Free practice 1: P8, 1:45.951, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:45.753, 28 laps
Nico: “I think the new floor does make a positive difference and we were able to work through our programme without interruption, which is always nice. It’s pretty much a standard Friday story – we have a direction with the car and we can make it better. That’s the plan for tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P10, 1:46.210, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:45.481, 29 laps
Carlos: “It’s great to get back into the car relaxed and refreshed. It was an uncomplicated day and we managed to follow our program quite well. The team brought some new parts that seem to work as expected, especially the new floor, which I tested in FP2. Good progress was made through the day. Spa-Francorchamps is a superb circuit so it’s great to get any laps around here and I have good feelings for the weekend ahead. Now it’s time to analyse both sessions and look for more performance with my engineers."
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “We completed a full programme with no issues meaning we have a full set of data looking to tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race, which is the best place to be at the end of a Friday. The new floor seems to be working as expected. We still have a little more work refining the set-up, but overall a positive day.”