Renault Sport Formula One Team completed 128 laps of the Yas Marina circuit today in preparation for the season-ending Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team’s programme was targeted to gather information to optimise qualifying and race performance, with a standard Friday programme augmented by pit stop practice and race starts. Nico Hülkenberg was ninth quickest in the cooler night time second session, while Carlos Sainz was thirteenth; his potential fastest lap hampered by a yellow flag.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, both drivers used only the Supersoft (red) tyres to allow aero and set-up work to be conducted for the more representative afternoon session.
• In FP2, Carlos and Nico ran with the Ultrasoft (purple) and Supersoft tyres and ran a more standard practice programme to prepare for qualifying and the race, with both long and short runs, pit stops and practice starts.

What we learned today:
The difference between Supersoft and Ultrasoft is larger than normal at this track.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04
Free practice 1: P17, 1:41.864, 26 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:39.529, 41 laps

Nico: “Quite a standard Friday to be honest. This morning we looked after the engine a bit more than usual and then reverted to a more normal programme in the afternoon. We do look quite competitive – I would say there is not much between us and the Force Indias and McLaren. I think it will be touch and go tomorrow and hopefully we can squeeze a bit more out of the car to get where we want to be and give us the best chance for Sunday’s race.”

Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.17-01
Free practice 1: P15, 1:41.748, 23 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:40.201, 38 laps

Carlos: “Today’s sessions were quite positive. Our FP1 programme was focussed on evaluating some aero parts on the car. In the afternoon I was able to get up to speed and start pushing a lot more. Looking at our long and short run pace we are more competitive than we were in the last few races, even if the short run was disrupted by yellow flags. We are looking good for tomorrow and to score the points we need on Sunday.”

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “Today our programme followed reasonably normal form. With Abu Dhabi being the last race we had fewer test requirements, as we know more or less where we are with everything. Instead, our day was geared towards preparing for qualifying and the race. We went through qualifying simulations and long runs, starts and practice pit stops and all seemed to go as expected. We’ll continue to work overnight and tomorrow to give ourselves the best possible chance to score points on Sunday."