Renault Sport Formula 1 Team‘s Chassis Technical Director, Nick Chester, felt as though the team maximised their time on track in Free Practice One in anticipation for a waterlogged Free Practice Two at the Suzuka International Racing Course.
Free Practice One was red flagged towards the end after Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed his Scuderia Toro Rosso, but the team were still able to run their comprehensive programme that had been devised to make up for any lost running in Free Practice Two.
Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth fastest in the practice, with team-mate Jolyon Palmer finishing fifteenth, although he attributes this partly to the traffic on track.
“The morning session was good today,” commented Chester.
“We put a comprehensive programme together for Free Practice one because we knew we were going to have a wet Free Practice two.”
Suzuka is a demanding circuit that has a series of high-speed corners that require lots of downforce and a strong chassis.
“We did a lot of work on set-up specific to this track, there are a lot of high-speed corners so it’s a bit of a different track to optimise for.”
They attempted to use a wet set-up for Free Practice Two, but the weather was so bad that they only completed one lap each, which neither set a time with.
“We completed tests on both cars, and it has given us good knowledge for where to run the car in the dry. For Free Practice two, we wanted to try a little bit more of a wet set-up, but really it was too wet, so we just did the one lap to see where the rivers were and that was it.“