Renault Sport Formula One Team faced a tricky Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with gusty winds affecting today’s practice sessions for the Formula 1 Gran Premio de España.

Making progress through the day, Nico Hülkenberg ended up as the team’s quicker driver, setting a 1min 20.183secs lap of the 4.6km track.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director - Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Carlos first ran with aero rakes conducting data logging, then conducted front wing and other aero assessments using the Medium (white) and Supersoft (red) tyres.
• Nico ran with the Soft (yellow) and Supersoft in FP1, conducting aero and set-up assessments.
• For FP2, both drivers conducted tyre evaluations and further set-up work, with Carlos using the Soft and Supersoft) tyres whilst Nico sampled the Medium and Supersoft.

What we learned today:
• We have work to do.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02
Free practice 1: P17, 1:21.159, 26 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:20.183, 43 laps

Nico: “It was a difficult quest towards balance and harmony with the car today but we definitely made progress by the end of FP2. Track conditions weren’t too favourable, especially with quite a bit of wind out there. The competition is pretty tough here so we need to find a bit more pace from the car looking to qualifying and the race.”

Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-01
Free practice 1: P15, 1:21.053, 28 laps
Free practice 2: P17, 1:20.672, 31 laps

Carlos: “It was definitely a challenging day, but we knew this could happen as in winter testing we weren’t particularly comfortable in the car here. We know it’s a track which requires a bit of extra work from us as a team. We have a big margin of improvement for tomorrow, especially as my FP2 fast run on the Supersoft tyres was affected by a mechanical issue, so we have some things to analyse tonight.”

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “It was a tricky day, where we struggled to get a good balance on the car. A lot of this was due to the wind conditions, which was difficult for the drivers, particularly where there was a tail wind on corner entry. The tyres proved tricky too, especially the Soft and Supersoft, with the Medium proving to be more solid and predictable as you’d expect. Despite two difficult sessions, both cars ran reliably and we got through our test programme with all the data we need for Sunday. The main challenge today was trying to find a good balance.”