Renault Sport Formula One Team driver Nico Hülkenberg led the charge for the team with the ninth-fastest time on the opening day of the Mexican Grand Prix. Team-mate Carlos Sainz ended the session eleventh at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Carlos and Nico used Pirelli’s Ultrasoft (purple) tyres.
• In FP2, Nico and Carlos used Supersoft (red) and Ultrasoft tyres.
What we learned today:
• A standard Friday for Mexico.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04
Free practice 1: P10, 1:19.552, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:18.775, 19 laps
Nico: “Overall it was a pretty standard Friday, we missed out on a bit of running but we will manage. The car seems competitive balance-wise but we still have room for improvement. I think we can still optimize the package tomorrow morning but overall, a good start.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.17-03
Free practice 1: P11, 1:19.554, 24 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:19.060, 30 laps
Carlos: “We had a good start in FP1, we were feeling quite comfortable with the car. However, in FP2, we were struggling a little bit to find the right balance. We will work hard on finding the answers for tomorrow and hope to be back in a comfortable spot with the car. I’m sure we can put together a strong Saturday here in Mexico to have good options to help the team on Sunday.”
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer:
“This morning we were able to get through virtually all of the programme and are reasonably happy with the results. We got clear answers on the tests we did and got a good feel for the car. We ran a relatively conventional FP2 programme but the drivers were less comfortable with the balance of the car so we have a bit of work to do to improve. We had to stop Nico’s car earlier than we would have liked because of a cooling issue, that’s usually a bit of a challenge for everyone here in Mexico City but we will adjust for tomorrow. We gathered enough information to decide what we are going to do for the race.”