The United States Grand Prix opening day marked Carlos Sainz’s debut behind the wheel with Renault Sport Formula One Team. Sainz registered the eleventh fastest time in FP2, five thousandths of a second ahead of new team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, who finished twelfth.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Carlos and Nico used Pirelli’s Intermediate (green) and Supersoft (red) tyres.
• In FP2 Nico ran Soft (yellow) and Ultrasoft (pink for this event) and Carlos ran the Supersoft and Ultrasoft tyres.
What we learned today:
• We know exactly where we stand.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04
Free practice 1: P13, 1:38.904, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P12, 1:36.534, 18 laps
Nico: “It wasn’t an ideal Friday on my side of the garage, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. We need to get the car into its sweet spot. We know what we need to improve on the car. After a moist start to the day, the track was developing all the time. Of course, it’s always great to drive the Circuit of the Americas, and I’m sure we have more in hand for tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.17-03
Free practice 1: P10, 1:38.093, 24 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:36.529, 30 laps
Carlos: “It’s been a busy week with everything other than driving the car so it was fantastic to get out and drive for the team for the first time today! There was a lot to learn so I’m happy we ran through everything required. We made good progress, but we’ve got work to do as you’d expect. Tomorrow will certainly be interesting for my first qualifying session with Renault.”
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer:
“The rain this morning forced us to adjust our programme, but we were able to get through most of our test items and gain most of the answers we were looking for. Overall it was a reasonable day for Nico and his comments about the car were consistent with the feedback he’s given us in recent events. It was Carlos’s first run in the car, his insight was fresh and useful, and by the end of the day his feeling about the car was consistent with Nico’s. We’ve had good reinforcement of where the car is and what we need to do to improve. Carlos fitted in really quickly; he was up to speed very rapidly and did a great job.”