Formula 1

Renault Duo Positive of Improvements after Tough Friday in Austria

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Carlos Sainz Jr. - Renault Sport Formula One Team
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Carlos Sainz Jr. feels his Renault Sport Formula One Team has the potential for improvement after placing outside the top ten in both free practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.

The Spaniard ended up thirteenth fastest in the ultra-competitive midfield battle in the first session and eleventh in the second, but acknowledges the team has yet to car set-up the way they want in order to be fighting for points on Sunday afternoon.

Sainz’s best time of the day in the second session was a 1:05.999s, which was 1.420 seconds off the best time set by Lewis Hamilton, but for the Spaniard, his aim on Saturday will be to beat the likes of Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly and Stoffel Vandoorne, all of who were ahead of him in that session.

“We’ve been working hard today on getting the right set-up with the car and you could see we’re not quite there yet,” said Sainz.  “Nevertheless, we have a decent number of laps on the board and we know what we need to improve to get a faster and more balanced car.

“I think we have the potential so I look forward to tomorrow.”

Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg finished fifteenth in both sessions, with the German revealing he was suffering throughout the day with understeer on his R.S.18, something he hopes the team can dial out of the car ahead of Saturday’s running.

“It’s been a fairly typical Friday,” said Hülkenberg.  “The balance isn’t quite there with the car so we’ve been tackling that as a priority.

“We didn’t make as much progress as we’d like between FP1 and FP2 and understeer has been our enemy here so far. Fortunately, it’s an enemy we know well so we have some good solutions to apply before we head out for qualifying tomorrow.”

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