Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz will start in the top ten for tomorrow’s Heineken Chinese Grand Prix. Nico qualified seventh with a 1min 32.532secs lap, whilst Carlos was just over two tenths adrift, setting the ninth fastest time at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02, Q: P7 1:32.532 FP3: P11 1:34.841
“I’m happy with that, seventh place again, which is probably the best we could do today. We achieved our qualifying mission and that’s a positive. I’ve had a good feeling and good rhythm on this track this weekend and the balance of the car feels fine. Tomorrow is a little more challenging, the first stint will likely be on the shorter side for sure, but we have good pace on all compounds, so that makes me optimistic for the race.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-01, Q: P9 1:32.819 FP3: P9 1:34.582
“It’s good news to have both cars again in Q3, we did a reasonable job. We lost DRS in Q1 with a yellow flag so couldn’t go into Q2 with only one-set of tyres, which then meant I only had one new set of ultras for Q3. We’re still not at one-hundred percent, especially in the slower speed corners, but it doesn’t worry me too much. Now I’m looking forward to the race, we’ll assess our options and see how things pan out. Degradation is going to be a big concern but I’m sure we can start off with a good first stint and hopefully bring more points home.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
It’s a good result for the team today…
How was qualifying for the team?
It was a straightforward session, with the exception of Carlos needing a second Q1 run. The car is working very well here and has had a good balance from the first runs of Friday. We made small improvements through qualifying, refining the balance with the front wing as the track grip improved over the three sessions. Overall it’s a good result for the team today.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
Tomorrow we should see the sun again and with it a step in track temperature. We are prepared for this with our cooling set accordingly and are looking forward to another strong race.