Renault Sport Formula One Team concluded the first week of pre-season testing with both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz returning to driving duties at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Nico started his day on a damp but drying track using Pirelli’s wet, intermediate and then the Soft compound dry tyres. Running into the cancelled lunch-break, Nico completed 49 laps with a best time of 1min 22.507secs. Carlos ran later in the day in improved conditions, completing 60 laps with a best time of 1min 20.940secs, the sixth fastest of the day.
Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km.
Chassis: R.S.18 - 01.
Weather: Damp to cool conditions. Ambient 9°C - 16°C Track 9°C - 19°C.
Programme: Wet weather tyre assessment, set-up and aero evaluations.
Laps Completed: 109: Nico 49, Carlos 60.
Classification: Nico: P11, 1:22.507, Carlos P6 1:20.940.
Interruptions: Driver changeover.
Stripping and rebuilding of the R.S.18 ahead of next week’s second test commencing on Tuesday 6th March. Both drivers are scheduled to drive on each day of the test, with Nico taking to the wheel first on the morning of Tuesday.
“We struggled to get some clean running and temperature into the wet and intermediate tyres this morning so it wasn’t as productive as we’d like. The track did take a long time to dry out, with the new surface and still pretty cool conditions, so I only managed one dry, but still damp, run at the end of my time in the car today. Next week we’re hoping for much better from the Spanish skies.”
“There was a pretty good window this afternoon where I could do a couple of long runs and start to get a feel for the R.S.18. Obviously there’s still work to do to get the car fully to my liking after this week’s weather delays, but at least we could complete some interesting mileage through long runs today and because of that, I’m pretty pleased with how it went. I’m looking forward to next week where we can really get into testing and explore set up directions.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
“This week we’ve seen the first glimpse of the Renault R.S.18’s potential on track, albeit in very cold, wet and unrepresentative conditions. We managed the majority of our running on the first morning and then the final afternoon, with a lot of rain, sleet and even snow in-between, so it hasn’t been a normal week of testing for anyone. Obviously, it’s very early days in our understanding of the car, but both Nico and Carlos have given positive feedback. Our teams back at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon have worked tremendously hard on this car and their attention to detail has been illustrated by our positive lap tally when conditions allowed. Next week we are targeting a significantly higher lap tally.”