Renault DP World F1 Team started its preparations today for the inaugural Pirelli Tuscan Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Mugello.
A new track to the 2020 Formula 1 calendar, today’s practice programme focused on familiarisation, tyre management and tweaking the balance to best suit the fast, flowing curves of the Tuscan hillsides.
Lap times were shaved between FP1 and FP2 – as both cars trimmed and refined their balance - with Daniel Ricciardo fifth and Esteban Ocon sixth in the afternoon session.
Both cars ran low and high fuel throughout the day to identify the optimum downforce level at the 15-turn, 5.245km undulating circuit.
What we learned today:
Practice today centred towards learning a new track and how the tyres behave.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.20-01
Free Practice 1: P10, 1:19.140, 25 laps
Free Practice 2: P5, 1:18.039, 32 laps
Daniel: “It’s so good to drive at Mugello. On one lap it’s fun but even on the long runs, which are normally a lot slower, there’s no holding back as it’s all high-speed. Turns 8 and 9 are nearly flat out on high fuel, so it’s quick and keeps you on your toes. I felt we picked it up today quite well. There were a couple of things to improve on in the morning, but we managed that well into the afternoon session. It looks like both cars are in decent shape. The timesheets look okay and, if we put ourselves in that position in qualifying, we’d be very happy.”
Esteban Ocon, #31, R.S.20-04
Free Practice 1: P6, 1:18.805, 28 laps
Free Practice 2: P6, 1:18.115, 29 laps
Esteban: “It was a decent day for the team. It’s a new track for everyone, and it’s my first time here as well. It’s a fantastic feeling to drive at Mugello and it didn’t disappoint from expectation! When we walked the track yesterday, I just thought it’s going to be awesome to drive. It’s a great challenge for us drivers, quite physical, and it’s also going to be particularly tough on the tyres. We have plenty of performance to unlock for tomorrow. For me, it’s been probably one of the best Fridays of the year so far.”
Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer:
“We try not to read too much into the times on a Friday, but it’s been a good day generally. It’s great to come to what is effectively a new circuit for us, but it doesn’t really change what we do on a Friday, and we just put our heads down and got through what we needed to do. The short runs were okay, and the long runs also seemed to be good. We had a couple of interruptions with red flags in the afternoon session, but fortunately for us they came at times where it didn’t affect out plans too much. As always, we’ve got a bit of work to do, but we don’t have any major concerns; we just need to do our normal Friday homework and come in ready and prepared for Saturday.”