Renault Sport Formula One Team hit the streets of Monte Carlo today as practice for the Monaco Grand Prix got underway.
Both drivers enjoyed a productive day, with 142 laps of the 3.337km sinuous street track covered in total. Nico Hülkenberg concluded his running with the seventh quickest time, 1:13.047, with Carlos Sainz closely matched in tenth position.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• We ran our high downforce package for the first time today.
• Nico also ran with updated bargeboards, which will be used on both cars from Saturday onwards.
• Over both sessions we tried to gain as much running as possible to get the drivers confident and comfortable in the car.
• Both Nico and Carlos ran only on the Hypersoft tyre today to gather data for the all-important Qualifying session.
What we learned today:
The Hypersoft tyres are working pretty well here.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P13, 1:14.134, 38 laps
Free practice 2: P7, 1:13.047, 30 laps
Nico: “A standard ‘Friday’ for us today. There’s not much to say; we had a couple of front lock-ups, therefore my runs got cut short with some bad flat spots. This morning I was not so happy with the car as it was quite difficult but we made some very good progress over lunch and I was much happier in P2. I think we’ve got a pretty good baseline going forward into Qualifying on Saturday.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P6, 1:13.456, 40 laps
Free practice 2: P10, 1:13.200, 34 laps
Carlos: “Overall it’s been an encouraging day for the team. A good baseline work from the beginning of the day helped to put in some good laps during P1. P2 was more difficult due to lots of traffic so I did not have the chance to get a clean lap, but the car is more or less where we want it to be and we will improve again for Saturday.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “Today was a productive day, despite the traffic we always experience in Monaco. The pace looks pretty good and we completed all our programme, getting in the laps and making the drivers comfortable. In the morning session Carlos was pretty happy with the car, although Nico wasn’t quite so comfortable so we made a fair amount of set-up changes on his car between P1 and P2. Both ended up fairly happy and it looks like we have a reasonable baseline for the rest of the weekend.”