POSITIVE START FOR RENAULT
Renault F1 Team completed a positive first day of practice for the season-opening race of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
Nico Hülkenberg posted the seventh fastest time of the day in Free Practice 2, a narrow 0.070secs quicker than new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Wearing the black and yellow Renault colours for the first time at a Grand Prix weekend, home favourite Daniel ended the day eighth fastest in front of a strong crowd at Albert Park, Melbourne behind teammate Nico. Daniel focused on a combination of short and long-based runs throughout the day, with a fastest time of 1min 23.644secs. Nico said “We recovered well today after a far from ideal first session. FP2 was good and consistent. I felt comfortable straight away in the car, which is one of the most important things for a driver. We’re coming in to a different circuit to that of testing and it’s such a contrasting track to get a feel for. I felt at home - happy as we can be at this stage - and we ran to our programme as planned in FP2. Our long runs were good, but there is still a lot of data to analyse overnight before Qualifying tomorrow.”
Daniel said: “It was good to get the first day done. It’s been a busy week with a big build-up so to get Friday practice completed is nice. We had some consistent running in FP2 and I was certainly growing more comfortable on each run. We still have lots to learn and improve on, but we’re getting there. For me, it’s about developing the understanding of the car and we’ve made a good start on that today. Qualifying will be interesting tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”