Carlos Sainz Jr. feels more positive with the balance of his R.S.18 already this weekend around the Shanghai International Circuit than he did seven days ago at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the Spaniard ending eighth fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team racer felt it was an encouraging day all round for the Enstone-based outfit, particularly as Nico Hülkenberg also found his way into the top ten in both sessions, although there is still work to be done to improve further.
“It was a clean Friday and I’m feeling more comfortable with the car,” said Sainz. “The balance is better than it was in Bahrain.
“We still need to look at the long-runs and make a step forward in that area but it’s certainly an encouraging Friday for us.”
Sainz feels finding the right strategy will be key to a good race on Sunday, particularly as the gap between the different compounds are bigger than normal.
“It’s a lot trickier this weekend in terms of tyres and there’s a big gap between the compounds and a lot of tyre degradation,” admitted the Spaniard. “We’ll analyse that area and then assess the strategic options we have for Sunday.”