He will be at the wheel again tomorrow, this time during the morning session
Barcelona, February 26th 2017.- The 2018 Formula 1 winter tests are underway and Carlos Sainz has already completed his first laps on the brand-new Renault R.S.18 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Spaniard completed 26 laps. He finished fifth, his fastest lap being 1:22.168. He only ran in the afternoon hours, when the track was at its coldest and rain fell all over the circuit. He could barely get a feel of his new car.
The positive news for Carlos is the reliability that the R.S.18 has shown in the hands of his teammate Nico Hülkenberg, who gathered more than 460 kilometres without any issues at all. Carlos couldn’t push the limits of his car, but he was still positive. "The power unit felt similar to last year, but we were on a safe mode to focus on mileage. Until the second week of testing or Melbourne we won’t really feel the power we have".
The R.S.18 that ran today was different to the one seen in the launch of the car. It will further develop before the Australian GP: "Renault is very good ad developing. They showed that today by arriving here and being the leading engine-manufacturer in terms of mileage. Regarding the car, I couldn’t test much. I know there will be some new bits before Australia".
Weather forecasts aren’t optimistic for the upcoming days and teams are evaluating the possibility of extending the testing to Friday. Carlos approves that scenario, although that change isn’t confirmed still. "I think it makes sense, because we barely have test days during the year and the more the better. It will be difficult to test if the next few days are very cold. We will see what they decide".
Halo wasn’t a challenge. "After two laps, you don’t see it. The curious thing about it is that my visor remained dry throughout the day despite the rain, because it blocked raindrops away. It wasn’t an issue".
Carlos confirmed that the new tarmac of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has improved the place. "The new tarmac gave me a very good impression. I think the Circuit has done a great job, because it is very smooth and it has a lot of grip. It was something like what we see in Austria or United States, where the new track-surface can give you up to two seconds".
Testing will continue tomorrow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It will begin at 09:00 and we will update you on Carlos’ progress via his official website www.carlosainz.es.