Friday: Renault, Force India, Toro Rosso


There were top ten times in practice at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and Jolyon Palmer.

Nico Hulkenberg:
“It got a little fruity out there at the end of the day with the rain, but we had a decent Friday and could show decent enough pace in the dry. It was the usual work on set-up and we made positive steps to get a positive balance and harmony around the track. It’s going to be interesting to see what the weather does for the rest of the weekend as we didn’t expect as much rain as we saw today; that’s one of the delights of Spa.”

Jolyon Palmer: “I love Spa as a circuit so it was great to be able to get some good work done on the car throughout today’s sessions. By the end of FP1 the car felt pretty special. FP2 was interrupted by the rain, but we were able to get further understanding of the tyres before the heavens opened. It was a good start to my weekend so I’m hopeful it continues in a positive manner.”

Force India:
Esteban Ocon:
“The day was reasonably clean and tidy and I managed to cover a lot of laps – even with the red flag and the rain shower in second practice. The feeling with the car is already pretty good and things look promising for a strong performance tomorrow. This track is very impressive in a Formula One car and, as we expected, I was able to take Eau Rouge flat on my first lap.”

Sergio Perez: “The morning session was compromised a little bit with a few small issues. We were changing a lot of things on the car so I didn’t do a huge amount of laps – not as many as we would have liked. The afternoon was better and I was beginning to find a good feeling with the car. The important thing is that we know where we need to work and the direction we need to take. So I’m feeling confident we will be in better shape tomorrow. As Esteban has shown, the pace of the car is quite competitive and we have a good opportunity to qualify well tomorrow.”

Toro Rosso:
Carlos Sainz Jr:
“It’s been a good day for us. We were a bit quicker than what we all expected before coming here, which is positive. On the other hand, we know that on Saturdays our competitors normally do a bigger step than us, so we need to keep an eye on them if we want to stay inside the top ten, but I’m happy with how we’ve started the weekend. Regarding the crazy weather, it doesn’t surprise me, this is Spa! This is the seventh time I race here and every time I’ve come this kind of thing happens, where it’s sunny one moment and the other it starts to rain… It’s typical from here and you just need to be ready for anything – I wouldn’t mind a bit of this tomorrow or Sunday!”

Daniil Kvyat: “A decent Friday. We were able to get plenty running in even though we had a few issues throughout the day – we will recover for tomorrow. FP3 will definitely be a busy one, but we know what we’re missing and what we need to do, so I’m confident we can end up doing a good job tomorrow and I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”