Renault F1 Team began preparations for the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with a productive first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, accumulating 109 laps.
The team’s main focus for day one was building mileage in the Renault R.S.19 and ensuring the various systems on the car were working as designed. Running went as planned with setups voluntarily consistent across tyres, engine and energy management.
Nico Hülkenberg took the wheel of the R.S.19 for the first time in the morning session with Daniel Ricciardo making his debut for the team in an official session during the afternoon.
Nico drove 65 laps in his morning stint posting a best time of 1min 20.980secs with a focus on reliability and predominantly longer-based runs. Daniel – who drove 21 laps (98km) on a promotional filming day on Saturday – extended his time in the R.S.19 with 44 laps in Monday’s afternoon session, recording a 1min 20.983secs as his fastest time, as he continues to grow accustomed in new machinery.
Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km.
Chassis: Renault R.S.19 – 01.
Weather: Chilly morning followed by warmer, more representative conditions in the afternoon. Ambient 6°C - 18°C, Track 3°C - 25°C.
Programme: Installation laps, set-up work and validation of the overall package.
Laps Completed: Nico 65; Daniel 44.
Classification: Nico P10, 1:20.980; Daniel P11, 1:20.983
Interruptions: Red flags in the morning session.
Daniel will resume in the R.S.19 on Tuesday morning with Nico taking over in the afternoon.
“It was fun and very enjoyable to be back driving a Formula 1 car. You forget how fast these cars are, especially Turns 3 and 9 around here, so it’s great to be back driving again. My first impressions are promising, we didn’t have too many problems this morning and that meant we were able to get a decent amount of laps in. We were looking to start on the right foot today so it’s good to get 65 laps on the board and ease ourselves back in. We have things to assess and I’m looking forward to continuing the work over the next couple of days.”
“It’s a good feeling to be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car again after a long winter waiting. Today was about bedding ourselves back into it and, for me, continuing to learn about a new car and a new team. It was a decent afternoon and it’s important we keep increasing our mileage. We have plenty to analyse but it’s been a promising first official day. I’m excited to hit the track again and develop this new relationship.”