Renault Sport Formula 1 Team duo Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. alluded to the team’s progress over the course of Friday’s two Free Practice sessions at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Hülkenberg and Sainz Jr. found themselves languishing in fifteenth and sixteenth in the morning session before a better afternoon saw them leap up to ninth and eleventh respectively.
Furthermore, both cars endured trouble free days in terms of reliability, a big issue currently plaguing the Renault power units.
Whilst Hülkenberg did say that the car still needs work before Saturday’s Qualifying – at a track the German enjoys good success at – he did reveal that the car is “not a million miles away” from peak performance.
“We got some good laps in through both sessions to identify where we need to make progress, but the car’s not a million miles away from where it needs to be,” said the 30-year-old.
Hülkenberg has qualified in the top ten at Interlagos five times out of six attempts in his Formula 1 career, even taking pole for the AT&T Williams F1 Team in his debut year, 2010.
However, his team have not enjoyed Hülkenberg’s success, the Enstone team in their various guises have not qualified in the top ten in Brazil since 2013.
“It’s always great to lap Interlagos and I’ve always got a good vibe here. We ended the day in the top ten; tomorrow’s job is to see how much further up the grid we can get.”
Sainz Jr. hailed “a positive day” as he searches for his second points finish in his first three races for the Renault team, in what can only be called as a promising start to his loan spell.
“It was a positive day for me as every time I went out in the car I felt we had made progress and I gained more confidence with the car,” said Sainz Jr.
“It was good that we didn’t see any rain in the afternoon as I was able to complete my full programme.
“We were able to get faster through the day and I think there’s more to come tomorrow.”