Renault Sport Formula One Team enjoyed a productive Friday in preparation for the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix at a hot and humid Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Carlos Sainz ended the day as the team’s quicker driver, setting the sixth fastest time in the second practice session, with a 1min 40.274secs lap. Nico Hülkenberg was also at the front end of the field and posted the fifth fastest time in the opening practice session, before ending the evening session in tenth.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• Across both sessions, Nico ran with the new bargeboard and sidepod vanes, with Carlos using the previous specifications of these components.
• In FP1, Nico ran Pirelli’s Soft (yellow) and Hypersoft (pink) tyres with Carlos using the Ultrasoft (purple) and Hypersoft tyres.
• In FP2, Nico used the Ultrasoft and Hypersoft tyres, while Carlos ran with Soft and Hypersoft.
What we learned today:
• We’ve made a promising start to the weekend with the updates appearing to work positively.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-04
Free Practice 1: P5, 1:41.105, 26 laps
Free Practice 2: P10, 1:40.668, 35 laps
Nico: “It’s always great to drive this track. We started the day well, but then I didn’t think we were able to make as much progress in the second session as I’d have hoped. In particular, I think we have to look a bit closer at controlling the rear end, but that does mean that we have a clear area for focus ahead of FP3 and qualifying tomorrow. Overall, a positive day, but you always want more.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free Practice 1: P7, 1:41.329, 23 laps
Free Practice 2: P6, 1:40.274, 36 laps
Carlos: “Overall, it was a pretty straightforward Friday for us, which is always good in Singapore. We had no issues and completed our run plan. I’m happy with today, especially the performance of the car over one lap. We have areas to work on, particularly our long runs to see what we can do better for the race. We have some things to learn on tyre degradation, but in general it was a good day for us.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “A productive day for us at a track we expect to be more aligned with the characteristics of our car than at recent locations. We ran with new bargeboards and sidepod vanes on Nico’s car and the data was positive so we’re hoping to have these for Carlos tomorrow too. It was the usual engineering challenge in Singapore of a non-representative FP1 because of running in much hotter conditions than we do for FP2, qualifying and the race, nevertheless we feel well-prepared heading into the rest of this weekend at this unique circuit.”