Renault Sport Formula One Team completed its first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Nico Hülkenberg behind the wheel of the R.S.17.
Nico completed 57 laps of the track, with the R.S.17 running reliably. Car and driver did spend more time than planned in the garage, however, whilst modifications were made to the front brake ducts.
Nico ran solely on the medium compound Pirelli tyre, setting a best lap time of 1:24.784. Today was the car’s second track appearance, following a promotional filming day on Saturday February 25, also in Barcelona.
Nico Hülkenberg: “It was an exciting first day with a new team and a completely different type of Formula 1 car. It feels very different out on track with a lot of new aspects to discover as we’re at the start of a steep learning curve. The car certainly feels faster than those to the previous regulations and it is fun to drive. You certainly realise you’ve got more downforce in the corners. It wasn’t the most trouble-free day, but it’s been a good start in my new home.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “Even though we didn’t get as many laps as we wanted, it’s been a productive first day of the test for the R.S.17. We have made good progress in terms of understanding the balance required for these new cars and we have a good direction for tomorrow. It was great to have Nico in the car and we ended the day with a long run to give us a good amount of data to work over. We did lose track time whilst we rectified some issues with the front brake ducts, but we have that in hand. Overall, we learnt a lot today.”