Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer ended the first day of practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix just 0.058secs apart with Nico posting the fifteenth and Jolyon the sixteenth fastest times on the Baku City Circuit.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
– In FP1, Nico used Pirelli’s Medium (white) and Soft (yellow) tyres whilst Jolyon used the Medium, Soft and Supersoft (red) tyres.
– In FP2 Jolyon and Nico ran with the Soft and Supersoft tyres. Jolyon’s session ended early at turn eight.
What we learned today:
– The Baku City Circuit can bite.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-02
Free practice 1: P14, 1:47.217, 21 laps
Free practice 2: P15, 1:46.003, 29 laps
Nico: “A pretty standard Friday for me except for not getting a fast run on the softest tyres during FP2. It was pretty slippery in FP1, but the track had improved for the evening session. We made some decent progress through the day and I would have been quicker if I’d had a shot at a fast lap on the Supersoft tyres. As always, there are improvements we can make for tomorrow, so that’s where our focus lies.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03
Free practice 1: P18, 1:48.525, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P16, 1:46.061, 17 laps
Jo: “It was pretty slippery out there and we struggled to get grip from the tyres. The car was feeling better in FP2 but I was caught out at turn eight which ended my day early. We had made progress between FP1 and FP2 and there’s more we can make for tomorrow. Thankfully there’s not too much damage to the car, so we’ll look to get it where we want it to be for qualifying.”
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “The first session went reasonably smoothly, but the evening session was dominated by a number of yellow flag incidents which affected our run programme. Jolyon had an early bath, however we did get a long run with Nico in the car so there’s sufficient data for race strategy decisions and Jolyon’s car won’t require too much work, so no big dramas.”