Renault Sport Formula One Team got off to a strong start for the Gran Premio de México with Carlos Sainz posting the third-fastest lap time in both practice sessions.
Both Carlos and Nico Hülkenberg were inside the top five all day at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, with Nico fourth fastest in the morning and fifth fastest in the afternoon.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, both drivers ran exclusively with the Hypersoft (pink) Pirelli tyres.
• In FP2 Carlos ran with the Supersoft (red) tyres whilst Nico ran with the Ultrasoft (purple). Both drivers also used the Hypersoft in this session.
What we learned today:
• The Renault R.S.18 seems to work well in Mexico.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P4, 1:18.028, 21 laps
Free practice 2: P5, 1:18.046, 36 laps
Nico: “The car felt good today, in line with our expectations for balance and feeling. It was a pleasant surprise to see how quick we were especially for a Friday. Tyre degradation is obviously something we’re looking at for the race as the Hypersoft gives good pace, but that performance doesn’t last. We have a few set-up areas to work on, so there’s potential for more to come tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P3, 1:17.926, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P3, 1:17.953, 35 laps
Carlos: “It’s always a great feeling to take to the track in Mexico and that feeling is even better if your lap times look good relative to the opposition, even though the third places just have a symbolic value! It was a good Friday in general, with some testing in the morning and a strong programme in the afternoon that we managed to complete without any issues. Tyre understanding and management will be crucial for Sunday, so that is one of the main things to analyse. We are looking forward to tomorrow.”
Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director: "We showed good performance on single-lap runs and showed strong pace on the long runs with both drivers. We completed our programmes without any issue, including aerodynamic tests for correlation. Tyre management is a real focal point at this track, with the added challenge of temperature and weather changes forecast for tomorrow. Today’s performance was nevertheless promising for the rest of the weekend."