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Hulkenberg loses track time after Renault tech troubles

Australian Grand Prix – Nico Hulkenberg lost the majority of free practice one after Renault found a fault with the R.S.19, hampering his day.

Renault’s bid to maximise track time ahead of the opening race was dealt a blow when they encountered software issue on Nico Hulkenberg’s car.

The German was forced to watch on as the team spent the majority of the session detecting and fixing the issue, only releasing the car with around twenty minutes of the session to go.

Speaking after Friday practice, Hulkenberg said that he was pleased with the team’s progress after the troublesome morning.

“We recovered well today after a far from ideal first session. FP2 was good and consistent,” said Hulkenberg.

“I felt comfortable straight away in the car, which is one of the most important things for a driver. We’re coming in to a different circuit to that of testing and it’s such a contrasting track to get a feel for.

“I felt at home – happy as we can be at this stage – and we ran to our programme as planned in FP2. Our long runs were good, but there is still a lot of data to analyse overnight before Qualifying tomorrow.”

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo also had delays, albeit less time-consuming ones. His seat belts had come loose and the team lost time trying to get the adjustment mechanism to work properly.

Despite this, the Australian thought that he had a sufficient number of laps to become more comfortable in the car.

“It was good to get the first day done. It’s been a busy week with a big build-up so to get Friday practice completed is nice,” said Ricciardo.

“We had some consistent running in FP2 and I was certainly growing more comfortable on each run. We still have lots to learn and improve on, but we’re getting there.

“For me, it’s about developing the understanding of the car and we’ve made a good start on that today. Qualifying will be interesting tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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