Renault Sport Formula One Team began preparations for the 2018 Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix in productive style at a hot and sun-bathed Silverstone.
Both drivers made healthy progress through the two practice sessions, with Nico Hülkenberg the team’s quicker driver, setting a 1:29.354 in the afternoon session, placing him seventh. Carlos Sainz was just two tenths off Nico’s time, four positions back in eleventh.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• Today was a fairly typical Friday. We tested out different set-up options in the morning, along with some new aero developments.
• Both drivers used only Pirelli’s Soft (yellow) compound tyre in the morning.
• In the afternoon, Nico used the Hard (ice blue) and Soft compound, while Carlos focused his attentions on the Medium (white) and Soft rubber – we paid particular attention to long runs looking at tyre temperatures and wear.
• We made good progress over the day and finished the day relatively happy with the car.
What we learned today:
High temperatures and new asphalt make the track low grip in places.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P18, 1:30.701, 18 laps
Free practice 2: P7, 1:29.354, 35 laps
Nico: “That was a standard Friday where we started with the car not where we wanted it and refined it through the day. We made some positive improvements and I’m reasonably happy with how the car’s working here. It’s pretty hot out there and this combined to the new surface should make for an interesting qualifying session tomorrow and race on Sunday.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P16, 1:30.358, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:29.563, 36 laps
Carlos: “We managed to complete our programme so I’m pretty happy with how the day went. There’s certainly some work to do for tomorrow but we gathered important data. The long run was quite busy with the cars in front so I’m confident there is more pace to come. The new surface has plenty of grip, even when it was dirty at the start of the first session, but it is quite bumpy too. The DRS in turns 1 and 2 was interesting and it was a superb feeling to be flat out at a very hot and sunny Silverstone.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “Silverstone is always a tricky track to balance for, as there are some quite low speed corners and some very demanding high-speed ones. Today was, however, a standard Friday. We steadily improved the balance over the first session; we started off with a touch too much understeer, but we made a few set-up changes for the second session. This put more front balance in and the car really started to work. When we did our qualifying sims at the end of the second session, the car was working pretty well. We look reasonably competitive on the long runs but will be looking forward to improve for Qualifying tomorrow.”