Italian Grand Prix – Renault finished Friday practice in eleventh and fifteenth after Daniel Ricciardo’s fast lap was deleted for track limits.
After finishing FP1 in ninth, Ricciardo put in a very competitive 1:20.905 on soft tyres in FP2, which would’ve placed the Australian third and just over seven tenths behind Hamilton, but as with many other drivers during the day, Ricciardo exceeded track limits at the final corner which led to the lap being deleted.
“It was a good day and I’m very happy with our work,” said Ricciardo. “I was already feeling comfortable in FP1, finishing ninth, but I knew there was a good bit more in it. We showed the pace in FP2, however, our lap time was removed for track limits.
“I’m not concerned about that as it’s a small thing and today is about finding the limits. We know if we keep it on track tomorrow, we’re holding onto that lap time, which should put us up the leaderboard. Our long runs were good as well and that was nice. We’ll concentrate on tomorrow and look to make it count.”
Esteban Ocon finished the day with Renault’s fastest official time, his 1:21.697 in FP2 placed him eleventh in the charts, one place higher and three tenths faster than his FP1 effort. The Frenchman was happy with his day’s efforts and feels there is improvement to come tomorrow.
“It’s not the most important day for lap times,” said Ocon. “I’m pleased with how we’ve gone through our plan today. It was very complicated with traffic and slipstreaming, so we’ve learnt a little bit on that ahead of qualifying.
“We also learnt more on set-up between FP1 and FP2 and I felt we made a good step. On the whole, it was a fairly typical Friday. Our long runs were also consistent and that was pretty good. There’s more to come tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”
Renault’s Chief Race Engineer, Ciaron Pilbeam, felt it was a good day for the team as both drivers completed their assigned programmes and were competitive on all fuel levels.
“We’ve had a good day with both cars running through their programmes without any problems and both drivers feeling relatively happy,” said Pilbeam. “Neither car did the lap time that they could have done on the Soft tyre, so the time sheets don’t represent our low fuel pace.
“Finding a tow in qualifying will be a thing and today we already saw cars jostling for position on out laps, and I’m sure that will continue tomorrow. It’s been a good day all round with both cars competitive on both low and high fuel.”