Despite the Leafield-based outfit’s best efforts to repair the car, they ran out of time. He failed to set a laptime and was forced to sit on the side-lines for most of the day. However, he was happy to be back at the wheel of an F1 car and feels comfortable in his new team.
“Even though we had limited running today it’s still good to be back in an F1 car, especially with a team where I already feel like part of the family,” he said. “Since we made the announcement last week everyone’s been really good with me, integrating me into the whole setup at the factory and here in Spain much more than I’ve been with my previous teams, so it’s a good feeling.
“We started this morning on time and ran through a few installation laps so we could keep working through all the systems we need to get right before we can start to push on performance. The car was behaving pretty strangely, mainly down to the way the power’s being delivered, and it was pretty stop / start as we kept having to make adjustments for each run.
“After lunch we had a power unit problem that meant the guys had to take the floor off and replace a couple of parts, and that’s a big job with how complicated everything is – in the end the clock beat us and we couldn’t get back out before the end of the session, and while that’s obviously not ideal, it’s what testing’s for.”
Cedrik Staudohar, track support leader at Renault Sport F1, said the source of the problem has been identified: “Another tough day but one where we continue to learn important information about the 2014 Power Unit and what we need to do to improve reliability and allow the team to start working on performance.
“Robin Frijns was sent out in the car early and we started working through a number of programs but just after lunch we found a problem with the Power Unit that required us to change a part which, unfortunately, ended our running early. We have identified the source of the issue and will work overnight to ensure it does not occur again, giving the team the chance to add to the lap count tomorrow.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic