Friday practice sessions were drastically reduced at Suzuka International Racing Course in Japan today, but Renault Sport Formula 1 Team‘s Nico Hulkenberg was pleased with the pace he showed in Free Practice One.
With Free Practice Two a washout, the team currently only has the morning’s session to assess their pace. It was an encouraging sign, with Hulkenberg finishing eighth fastest. Team-mate Jolyon Palmer could only manage fifteenth fastest.
Both drivers only went out for one lap in the waterlogged second session, which was postponed for forty-five minutes, and so did not set a representative time.
“Free Practice 1 was good,” commented Hulkenberg.
The team expected rain to arrive in time for the afternoon session, and so used Free Practice One as an opportunity to do as many laps as possible in order to assess and analyse race pace for Sunday.
“With the threat of rain expected in the afternoon, Free Practice 1 was a serious session, we ran quite a bit and did the testing we wanted to do.
“Everything felt ok, the balance was good so I wasn’t too unhappy.”
The decision to do as little running as possible was to save wet tyres, as there is a possibility that there will be a wet qualifying tomorrow.
“There isn’t much to say about the afternoon session, it was pretty wet and we wanted to conserve our tyres as there might be some rain again tomorrow.”