Carlos Sainz Jr. believes his Renault Sport Formula One Team has got a good starting point for the set-up of their R.S.18 after a challenging opening day of practice at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday.
The Spaniard, who has never finished inside the points in Bahrain in his three previous visits to the track during his Formula 1 career, was eighth fastest in the daytime session in the desert but dropped to twelfth in the evening session, held in conditions drivers will likely face in Qualifying on Saturday and in Sunday’s race.
Sainz knows there is still work to be done in order to get the most of the weekend, particularly as he ended almost four-tenths of a second behind team-mate Nico Hülkenberg in that second session under the floodlights.
“Quite a challenging Friday, as always in Bahrain, as we worked on our understanding of the car in both the sessions,” said Sainz, who’s best lap of 1:31.601s was 1.784 seconds off the best lap of the day set by Kimi Raikkonen.
“We did gain a lot of grip over the day and it was tricky to handle the rear of the car with the right balance for all the different corner speeds, but overall I think we have a good starting point for the weekend.”