Renault Sport Formula One Team endured a frustrating Friday in Montréal on the first day of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Heineken du Canada with a gearbox issue and crash damage interrupting the team’s run plan.
Despite the frustrations, the underlying pace and potential of the Renault R.S.18 was clear to see, with Carlos Sainz setting the eighth-fastest time of the 4.4km Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the morning, whilst Nico Hülkenberg was a tenth shy of the top ten in the afternoon.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Nico suffered from a gearbox issue which stranded him on track. He was on the Supersoft (red) tyres.
• Carlos ran a programme of aero assessments in the morning, using the Ultrasoft (purple) and Hypersoft (pink) tyres.
• Nico’s gearbox was replaced for FP2 and he ran with the Ultrasoft and Hypersoft tyres.
• Carlos spun and hit the wall in FP2, damaging the floor and rear wing and crash structure of his car. He had been using the Supersoft tyres.
What we learned today:
• The R.S.18 has good potential here when avoiding external and internal issues.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P20, No time set, 3 laps
Free practice 2: P14, 1:13.967, 37 laps
Nico: “It was a pretty quiet morning for me once I found my way back to the garage, but the afternoon was far more productive. We weren’t able to run through all of our usual programme because of the missed track time, but we still made progress and know what has to be done to get the car more to my liking for tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03
Free practice 1: P8, 1:14.116, 24 laps
Free practice 2: P17, 1:14.433, 9 laps
Carlos: “It was a promising morning then a frustrating afternoon. We had made good progress in FP1 and I was happy with the car. In the afternoon, during my second run with the Supersofts, I just lost the rear end and couldn’t brake enough before touching the wall. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like there was too much damage but it’s a pity because we could have gathered valuable info from this session. Thanks to my crew for the extra work required today. Tomorrow I think we can still have a good day and I’m already working on it.”
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “It was a difficult day for us with Nico’s gearbox issue in the morning and Carlos tapping the wall in the afternoon. Despite compromising our programme, we have a reasonable idea of the direction we need to take with car set-up and we can recover well for tomorrow. Carlos had a good run in the morning which illustrates the potential of the car, whilst Nico didn’t get a fair run at showing his true potential with the Hypersoft tyres.”