Renault F1 Team enjoyed a promising day of practice under the lights at the Marina Bay Street Circuit ahead of Sunday’s Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.
Nico Hülkenberg was the team’s quicker driver, finishing sixth in Free Practice 1 and later eighth in Free Practice 2. Daniel Ricciardo was narrowly outside the top ten in both sessions.
Alan Permane Technical programme notes
- The main focus for today was assessing the tyres, especially the Soft (C5) compound and its graining in race trim.
- More so than other street circuits having a race setup is as equally important as a good qualifying position. It’s a long race, pushing towards the two-hour mark, and is also harder on the tyres than a traditional street track.
- Nico was the more comfortable of the two drivers in the early running and made minor set-up changes throughout the day.
- Daniel struggled with an oversteering car in FP1 and changed the set-up to calm the car down ahead of FP2, where it seemingly improved.
- Nico began FP2 on Pirelli’s Hard (C3) tyres and Daniel on Mediums (C4). Both then conducted the usual low fuel simulations on Softs (C5) before switching attention to long runs.
- What we learned today: Our short run pace looks competitive relative to the top end of the midfield and we know it’s going to be very tight for qualifying tomorrow.
- Free Practice 1: P6, 1:41.812, 26 laps
- Free Practice 2: P8, 1:40.324, 30 laps
“It’s always tricky in Singapore as it’s a busy circuit and very humid. I felt at home on the low fuel runs and I had a good rhythm with the car doing what I wanted. The long runs seem to be more challenging at this stage and I struggled a bit in FP2. We’ll investigate that and see what’s going on. Apart from that, it was an okay Friday with no big issues. As expected, it will be tight this weekend but we have a competitive package to fight for points.”
- Free Practice 1: P11, 1:42.527, 20 laps
- Free Practice 2: P12, 1:40.811, 30 laps
“Today seemed to go alright. I have a bit to find on short runs but I’m not too worried. I know we’ll find some pace quite easily, it’s just some small things. The long runs seemed a bit more positive. The car was certainly there, but I just need to put it all together. We’ll work on that tonight and analyse the data. Nico was well in the top ten all day so it shows the potential of the car. I knew this would be trickier than Monza, but we’re not in bad shape.”
Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director: “It was a productive Friday for the team. We got through our programme as planned without any particular issues. We had decent pace on the Soft tyre and we look in good shape for qualifying. Our long runs were trickier here and it’s going to be a case of getting the tyres to last. We have data to work through to identify the right strategy which will, of course, depend on our qualifying tyre and position. Both cars will be close and it will be a competitive fight in qualifying, where we’re targeting Q3.”