Hulkenberg flies amid more woe for Palmer at Silverstone

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, British Grand Prix
© XPB 

It was very much a day of two drivers at Silverstone for Renault. While Nico Hulkenberg finished Friday practice seventh fastest, there were more technical problems for team mate Jolyon Palmer.

"The one lap was okay," Hulkenberg said of his best effort in FP2, which clocked in at 1:29.936s. "That one lap looked all right on the timesheets.

"The lap was good, and we liked the supersoft tyre. We’ve seen that over one lap, we’re not too bad.

"I don’t know what to expect here, and whether to be hopeful or not," he cautioned. "I just push on with the car we have, I haven’t really looked into what the others have done.

"We had two okay Friday sessions with no major issues today," he continued. "Regarding the pace, we need to do some work to find a bit more balance and performance overall - especially in the long runs."

Like many other drivers in the paddock this weekend, Hulkenberg was amazed by how much quicker the cars were this season. Speeds have increased as a result of new technical regulations introduced at the start of the year.

"The cars are ****ing fast through the corners here," he enthused. "Copse, Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel - they’re impressively fast.

"It’s a lot of G on the body. It’s going to be a physical race. Physically, this is going to be tough."

While Hulkenberg was on a high, his team mate had once again been brought down to earth with a bump by technical issues.

"I missed half the morning with an MGU-K shaft that needed replacing," Jolyon Palmer sighed. "But when I did get some running in I was pretty happy with the car.

"The afternoon started okay, and I was happy with the car on the soft tyres. But when I put on the Supersoft tyres I found there wasn’t any grip.

"I had a spin and then struggled to get them working correctly," added the Briton.

"Unfortunately then we had to stop the car on a long run with a clutch problem. We will hope for better luck tomorrow."

"A slightly mixed afternoon for us," summarised Renault's chief technical officer Bob Bell. "[Nico] set a good time on low fuel, which we hope we can reproduce in qualifying. We’re pleased with that and the progress we’ve made.

"Jo had a slightly less fortunate day with his clutch problem in the afternoon, on top of the mechanical issue in the morning. He never got a fair crack at a time."

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