Renault DP World F1 Team completed a productive day’s practice at Spa-Francorchamps today in preparation for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo ended the day second on the timesheets with team-mate Esteban Ocon eighth after competitive low fuel runs for both drivers in the afternoon session.
Esteban set the fastest overall Sector 1 time in Free Practice 2 with Daniel quickest of anybody in Sector 3.
Both practice sessions remained dry, though, there is a threat of rain for Saturday and Sunday.
Daniel and Esteban ran inside the top ten throughout the day as they progressed through their usual practice programme, which centred around finding the right downforce balance and assessing the tyres. Daniel’s day was cut short after a problem with his car during Free Practice 2, which the team is investigating.
What we learned today:
It was a decent day’s practice and that is backed up on the timesheets. We will assess our work overnight to make sure we’re well prepared for qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.20-01
Free Practice 1: P9, 1:45.225, 21 laps
Free Practice 2: P2, 1:43.792, 12 laps
Daniel: “It was another good FP2 as has been the case for us at the last few rounds. We have to do it tomorrow, though, as that’s when it counts. Today was strong, even with the issue at the end. For safety, we pulled the car over as there’s no point taking risks with mechanical issues on Fridays. Our low fuel run was a good one. During the lap, I knew it felt good and sometimes you just know when the car’s working. I knew it was competitive and I wasn’t that surprised it was up there on the timesheets. It was a good day and we certainly understood a lot from it.”
Esteban Ocon, #31, R.S.20-04
Free Practice 1: P7, 1:45.099, 20 laps
Free Practice 2: P8, 1:44.208, 23 laps
Esteban: “Today was decent and we seem to be competitive as a team. We’ve made a good step from Barcelona and I’m happy with today’s running. There were lots of things we understood, which we’ll aim to put into tomorrow and Sunday. It definitely looks promising for qualifying. It’s always nice to see a purple sector next to your name and that shows we have the speed. The long runs are hard to read especially with the red flag. We might see some cars running high fuel in FP3 to make up for the lack of running.”
Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer:
“We’re mostly happy with today’s running. The morning session went smoothly and to plan. There was some rain before FP2, which meant most teams held back before going out on track but, by the time we went out, the track was completely dry, and it didn’t have a significant effect on our overall run plan. Both drivers are reasonably happy with the car today. Daniel’s Soft tyre run was competitive; however, we’ve seen that before on a Friday so I would say only that we are cautiously optimistic. Esteban was also happy with the balance on his car. Daniel’s long run was going well but, after a couple of laps, the car stopped on track with a problem. That interrupted everyone’s long runs, including Esteban’s, but his run on Mediums looked consistent. We have everything we need to look at tonight to work on our qualifying and race strategy.”