Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg ended up fifth and sixth fastest, with Ricciardo trying different tyre compounds in the afternoon and completing eight fewer laps than the 73 than his-team mate racked up in the morning.
The Australian driver, at his first Formula 1 season with Renault, is happy with the car’s progress, pointing out how his expectations have been perfectly met so far.
“It was a good afternoon’s work. We went through the tyre compounds, which was the target today.
“We are now working on finding the balance with a more performance type run”.
We went through the programme as planned, so there is now so more work to do to analyse the data. I’m happy that the afternoon went smoothly. We will build from here” said Ricciardo.
Nevertheless, the former Red Bull driver is still not completely sure about where Renault lies in the grid so far:
“We’re guessing, and we’d like to think we’re at the front [of the midfield] but there’s no hard evidence yet that we are. The objective is to be fourth or better, but really it’s about closing the gap to the front guys and that’s not going to happen overnight.”
Nico Hulkenberg, testing the RS19, remarked how he did not face any issue during the day, allowing the team to test the car performance in the short runs and improve the overall balance.
“We had another smooth session in the car looking at shorter runs and finding the right balance in that area. We are working in a positive direction and it was good to give the softer compounds a go in decent morning conditions. As ever with testing, there is a lot of data to go through with the team to keep developing the car and ensure we are best placed heading into race one”.