Renault Sport Formula One Team experienced a wet but not so wild first day of the Pirelli United States Grand Prix with persistent precipitation making for a damp day at the Circuit of the Americas.
Given the treacherous track, the team completed a limited amount of laps to validate the wet set-up of the Renault R.S.18, with Carlos Sainz seventh quickest in the faster morning session and Nico Hülkenberg fifth fastest in the afternoon.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, both drivers completed runs on the Wet and then the Intermediate tyres.
• In FP2, both drivers ran with the Intermediate tyres.
What we learned today:
• It can rain a lot in Austin, but there were no surprises.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P18, 1:51.717, 7 laps
Free practice 2: P5, 1:52.208, 6 laps
Nico: “I didn’t quite have the right balance and harmony in the morning so it was good to get a run in the afternoon to confirm we’d made changes in the right direction. It’s quite fun to drive in conditions like today, even if it can look pretty bleak on the TV. We’ve seen some extreme differences in weather here in Austin before, so it’s going to be interesting to see what the rest of the weekend serves up.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P7, 1:50.665, 8 laps
Free practice 2: No time set, 2 laps
Carlos: “I was pretty happy with the car in the morning session and managed to put some decent laps together. Conditions at the end of FP2 were similar and I only did a quick out and in lap to test a couple of things and gather info. Tomorrow will be interesting; we think it’s going to be wet so it will be a good challenge for the drivers. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “We completed a couple of runs in FP1 and a run each in FP2 and have used both the Wet and Intermediate tyres today. We did manage to complete some wet setup work on Intermediate tyres. Much of the track time was too wet for valid running but both drivers ended their days quite happy with their base wet setup.”