Renault Sport F1 Team, struggled in Yas Marina at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in the first two practice sessions of the weekend. The first session ended early for Daniel Riccardo as his engine caught fire, but Nico Hülkenberg carried on but it seem the team were not on the pace.
Hülkenberg explained that his Friday session in the first and second session went pretty normally. He conveyed that the was harder to get information from considering it was a lot hotter than it would be during the day as the Grand Prix falls at night. He added, that him and his team managed to work through their programme as usual.
“It was a fairly standard Friday. The first session was hot under the sun and then things cooled in the evening where conditions are similar to both qualifying and the race. There were no particular problems for us and we worked through our programme as planned.“
Hülkennberg recorded tenth and fifteenth in the two practice sessions. He communicated that he felt good within his car. However, he believes they just lost something within the session during the evening. But he added that, Renault and himself would aim to make changes for the final qualifying of the year.
“The car felt good in the first session but we seemed to lose a bit of performance in the evening. We need to see what happened there. We’ll dig into the data and aim to make some improvements ready for qualifying.”
Riccardo had an issue, within the first session, as flames started to pore from the back of his R.S.19, due to an engine issue. He expressed that this problem led to his Friday practices not being what he wanted. The Australian, only managed nineteenth and sixteenth in the two sessions.
“It wasn’t the smoothest Friday for us today. We missed a bit of running with the engine issue in the first session and, in the evening, we made some changes to the car.”
Riccardo suggested disappointment as he felt his team were off the pace this weekend. But he added that him and his team will be making changes to his car to earn the maxim result. Riccardo did make it clear he was confident and that he is sure his team will find the right balance in the car.
“We were a bit off the pace, we haven’t quite found the balance yet, so we’ll be looking for some further tweaks ahead of qualifying. I’m feeling confident we’ll get there and find the sweet spot to put us in a pretty good place for tomorrow and for the race.”