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(Motorsport-Total.com) – In the duel for the fourth World Cup rank goes to the first preliminary decision between Renault and McLaren on Friday in Russia to the French. Nico Hülkenberg ranks with the RS eighth overall ( 1, Norris ( 2, 061).

Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg

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Renault seems to have her nose in front of McLaren in Sochi Zoom Download

“That was not so bad today,” says the German happily the strong eighth rank and his lap time of 1: (***********************************************************************************************) minutes. “P8 sounds very reasonable,” he smiles. “That was not a bad working day on a Friday, the base of the car felt right from the beginning.”

In the afternoon he finally tried a few different set-up variants, describes Hulkenberg. “Now we have to analyze if they were good or bad, but on the whole, the car has done pretty well.” One of the better training days for the “Hulk”.

McLaren: Norris complains about “unpredictable” MCL direct competitors are penalized with motor punishment. “This will bring us a few places and could be a way to earn more points than usual,” he lurks at his chance. His goal: “Hopefully we'll be in the middle of the match tomorrow.”

In Liberty Media's official qualifying analysis, only Racing Point is credited with an even better pace in the dense midfield based on Friday's data. Renault is behind it in fifth place in the balance of power. The team loses 1.6 seconds on the leader Red Bull on average.

The strength of the Renault in Sochi: fast corners. Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo lose the most time on the straights and in medium-fast passages. World Championship opponent McLaren, on the other hand, has a much lower qualifying pace, 2.2 seconds behind Red Bull on average.


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This puts the British team ahead of Williams on a fast lap. Particularly big is the time loss of the traditional racing stable in slow and medium fast corners. Compared to Renault McLaren loses more in this area. On the other hand, the oranges are faster on the straights, which means less downforce for the same engine.

“The car is a challenge, lap by lap, it's quite unpredictable,” says Norris the first 57 rounds. As a result, he feels as a pilot not well enough to give full throttle – “especially on the soft tire”. So too is his residue of over two seconds on the best time to explain.

Two-tenths of a second, the rookie was slower than the Hulkenberg time. “We are not as happy and confident as we are in Singapore,” he says. “Here we have a little more problems, but it did not look like a bad shot from a distance.” Only the feeling in the car was not right.

In Longrun, the story looks a bit different: At the end of the second free practice session, McLaren was around 0.3 seconds per lap in the race trim on average faster than Renault.

Ricciardo believes in Q3 move-in

Carlos Sainz landed (****************************************************************************************) ( 2, (*********************************************************************)), while Daniel Ricciardo ranked it 14 ( 2, 63). “That was an average day,” summarizes the Australian. In the first practice session he caused the departure of the day: In turn 5 he lost the rear end and destroyed the rear wing.

“The team then swapped the rear of the car just destroyed the wing, but they wanted to play it safe and have therefore also changed the gearbox. ” He also felt little grip on the hard tire in the afternoon.

“I did not make it work, even on the soft tires it did not feel great,” Ricciardo admits. For Saturday he wants to do his job and move into Q3. Thanks to the Honda motor penalties, he expects a few free places in the top 14

If he could not make it into tomorrow's Q3 and make another tire choice, that would be “not a disaster,” assures Ricciardo. “Still, I think we're good enough for Q3.”


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