Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Jolyon Palmer experienced a scorching hot Bahrain International Circuit to open the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix today (14 April). Temperatures ran as high as ever seen in Formula 1 during the afternoon FP1 session, but it was cooler in the evening’s FP2.
In FP1, Jolyon ran a compact programme in the hot conditions on Pirelli’s medium and soft-compound tyres, reporting no issues despite track temperatures of around 56°C. In FP2, the 26-year-old Brit worked on a more extensive programme with Pirelli’s soft and super-soft tyres, with the Renault R.S.17 continuing to run reliably.
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01
Free practice 1: P15, 1:35.068, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:32.876, 38 laps
Jolyon said: “The car was a bit of a handful in FP1, so I don’t think it liked the heat so much! FP2 was productive as we were able to make good progress in the understanding of set-up, and we still have further potential to come. Conditions are definitely better when it’s cooler, and fortunately that’s when qualifying and the race will take place.”
Bob Bell, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Technical Officer, added: “Bahrain presents a unique challenge by having FP1 and FP3 in hotter conditions than we see in the race or qualifying, meaning the cooler FP2 is more valuable for track time. We got through a decent programme in FP2, so have plenty of qualifying and race simulation data to analyse overnight. We’re quite happy that we’ve made a step forward with the set-up and balance of the car and expect further progress tomorrow.”
“The car was a bit of a handful in FP1, so I don’t think it liked the heat so much! FP2 was productive as we were able to make good progress in the understanding of set-up, and we still have further potential to come.” Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport Formula One Team Driver