Tyre failures, flat batteries, low grip, and pressure loss! Any superstitious members of the Renault F1 Team will be happy to see the back of running on Friday 13th.
Esteban Ocon got his first running in the R.S. 16 during FP1 for the Spanish Grand Prix. Unfortunately the session was cut short without Ocon having the opportunity to set a representative lap time:
Esteban: “I was really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the R.S.16 so it was a shame that Friday the Thirteenth decided to pick on the team and I! I did get a brief amount of time in the car, but I didn’t even get a timed lap so it’s too early for any real thoughts about driving the car as I didn’t have an opportunity to really push. The team could see the tyre was losing pressure so I was brought in. I waited in the garage until I could go back out on the next set of tyres then the battery had an issue so it definitely wasn’t my day!”
Ocon will be back behind the wheel of the R.S 16 in day two of the post race weekend test next week.
Jolyon Palmer took over from Ocon in FP2, but seemed to carry to Frenchman’s poor luck into the session.
Jolyon “That was pretty unfortunate. We don’t know what caused the puncture and it was frustrating to lose so much track time. We thought we might not be able to get out again after the car was recovered, however my crew was able to do a fantastic job to repair the damage so I’m thankful for those laps at the end of the session. Fortunately, Barcelona’s a track I know well so I’m looking forward to a busy day behind the wheel tomorrow.”
Despite these issue’s Palmer was able to set a time good enough for 17th in FP2 completing 16 laps in total.
Kevin Magnussen certainly had a bit more luck than his team mates finishing 11th and 14th in FP1 and 2 respectively. Despite this progress in performance for the team Kevin was keen to make clear grip remains a critical issue
Kevin “Grip levels felt pretty low in the morning but things improved through the day. It looks like I was definitely on the lucky side of the garage today so I hope the luck holds for the rest of the weekend. We’ve got a good idea of where we want to go after today and I think our pace is around where we expected it to be.”