Renault F1 Team completed a positive day of practice in preparation for the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix, the 1,000th race in the history of Formula 1.
Nico Hülkenberg claimed the fifth fastest time of the day, a 1min 34.096secs, in the afternoon session at the Shanghai International Circuit, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo 0.340secs down in ninth.
Both cars ran to the planned programme, with the morning focused on assessing various aero and mechanical test items.
Alan Permane Technical programme notes
• Free Practice 1 took place in cooler, dusty conditions with both cars working through a programme to test new aero and mechanical items.
• In FP1 Nico completed 22 laps on Pirelli’s Soft (Red, C4) and Medium (Yellow, C3) tyres. Daniel accumulated 23 laps also on Soft and then Medium tyres.
• Free Practice 2 saw crosswinds pick-up around the circuit. Nico began on Hard (White, C2) tyres before switching to Softs. Daniel started his session on Mediums and then the Soft compound tyres.
What we learned today:
Both cars appear to be on the pace of the top ten in Shanghai but we expect another tight Qualifying session.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.19-02
Free Practice 1: P12, 1:35.591, 22 laps
Free Practice 2: P5, 1:34.096, 31 laps
Nico: “We can be pleased with our day. It was smooth running for us across both sessions with no issues and we completed our programme as we expected. I felt positive and comfortable in the car today and I think that reflects in our lap times across both short and long runs. We still have a few areas to work on and some details to assess, but I feel today is a solid baseline to work off heading into Saturday.”
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.19-03
Free Practice 1: P6, 1:35.239, 23 laps
Free Practice 2: P9, 1:34.336, 32 laps
Daniel: “It wasn’t a bad day for us, if a little bit mixed. We got out the gates well this morning and it seemed quite positive in the car. This afternoon we tried a few things with balance. I felt we were closer to what we wanted in the morning, so we have a few things to work on and figure out ahead of tomorrow. Our short run pace looks like it belongs inside the top ten, so tomorrow will be about piecing everything together and extracting some good one-lap pace.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “We ran through our programme as planned today and it was a pretty good Friday overall. We went through a couple of aero tests and added some mechanical parts and we have some good data to work with tomorrow. We have some information to build off and it seems the new parts we evaluated worked as expected. Performance looks reasonable and we’ll see what happens tomorrow when we get to Qualifying, but it’s been a good start.”