Renault F1 Team’s preparation for the 2019 Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix began on Friday, with a disjointed day’s running at the Baku City Circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo led the way for the team, posting the fifteenth fastest time in Free Practice 2, with Nico Hülkenberg behind in seventeenth.
Both drivers managed just one installation lap in Free Practice 1, with the session halted and subsequently cancelled following damage to the course.
Alan Permane Technical programme notes
• Free Practice 1 was stopped following damage to a manhole cover on the course and the session did not restart.
• Both drivers completed one installation lap on Pirelli’s Soft (Red, C4) tyres.
• In Free Practice 2, Nico started on Medium (Yellow, C3) tyres and Daniel on Softs. Nico switched to Softs later in the session.
What we learned today:
We have work to do overnight to improve the cars ahead of Qualifying.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.19-02
Free Practice 2: P17, 1:46.717, 24 laps
Nico: “It was a shame we didn’t get as much running in as planned today, but that’s the same for all teams with the circuit damage in FP1 and a couple of red flags in FP2. The second session didn’t go well for us, and we were struggling with things like tyre warm-up, downforce level and braking stability. That made it challenging, but we’ll put our heads together overnight and find some fixes for tomorrow.”
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.19-03
Free Practice 2: P15, 1:45.483, 15 laps
Daniel: “Today was a little bit stop-start. In the second session, I had one clean lap which wasn’t too bad at the time. We had two brake lock-ups on two sets of tyres which resulted in two big flat spots. We couldn’t continue after that. We have a few things to sort out ahead of tomorrow, especially trying to get the car happier on the brakes.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “It was a bit of a disjointed day. We had no representative running in FP1 and then in FP2 we struggled with the car not having enough grip. We couldn’t get the tyres to work how we’d like, so we have a bit of work to do overnight. We’re probably not running enough downforce, and that’s something we will assess. Track conditions were dusty, which is why it’s been particularly hard running a low downforce setting. We don’t have too many issues with the car and we’re confident we can make things better tomorrow.”