Carlos Sainz Jr. has said that the first in-season Formula 1 test of the 2018 campaign has been “beneficial” for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team.
Sainz Jr. posted the second fastest time of the opening day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, behind fellow Red Bull backed driver Max Verstappen, completing 119 laps.
The Spaniard reflected on a “busy but productive” day, explaining that Renault focussed on finding ways to extract more out of the R.S.18. The French marque currently sit in fourth place in the Constructors’ Standings; Sainz Jr’s seventh place in Spain launching them ahead of the McLaren F1 Team by a solitary point.
“It was a busy day, but certainly a productive one for me and the team,” said Sainz Jr.
“The main focus was on completing a number of tests and evaluations and discovering how to extract further performance from the car. It’s been a busy few days, a lot of laps completed, and certainly beneficial for our progress.”
Renault development driver Jack Aitken will drive tomorrow, fresh from his first FIA Formula 2 series win last weekend. Sporting Director Alan Permane praised Sainz Jr for his work rate over the day, echoing the Spaniard’s feelings, calling the day “productive”. Permane also expressed his excitement in seeing what Aitken can do when given his first taste of modern machinery.
“We had a comprehensive programme to get through today and Carlos worked through this methodically and consistently,” Permane noted.
“We are looking at many elements of the car to see where we can best deliver performance gains. It’s been a productive day with 119 laps completed so we have plenty of data to work from, and now we’re looking forward to seeing Jack Aitken in the car tomorrow for his first run in the R.S.18.”