Renault Sport Formula One Team experienced a very hot first day of the Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. Whilst Jolyon Palmer ended the day as the twelfth fastest driver, all eyes were on Kevin Magnussen’s car in the morning when an escape of fuel from a vent ignited and required extinguishing. Kevin’s car was back on track for the afternoon, setting the 19th fastest time.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes
– A straightforward day for Jolyon completing his programme as scheduled and showing promising pace.
– Kevin’s car had a fuel breather issue in FP1 resulting in the ignition of escaped fuel. He missed most of the session as the car was cleaned and repaired from the extinguisher chemicals.
– Kevin used Pirelli’s hard tyres in FP1; Jolyon used the hard and mediums.
– In the second session Kevin used the medium and soft tyres; Jolyon the hard and soft.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-04
Free practice 1: P22, no time set, 2 installation laps
Free practice 2: P19, 1:37.664, 19 laps
Magnussen: “We expected it to be hot in Sepang but maybe not as hot as that! My crew were great dealing with the fire and getting the car back into action for the afternoon. From my perspective, I heard the call on the radio to jump out and I didn’t need to be told twice! In the afternoon we were able to get some laps so the day wasn’t a write-off. There’s a bit too much entry oversteer with the initial set-up but we know where we want to improve.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-05
Free practice 1: P19, 1:39.148, 23 laps
Free practice 2: P12, 1:36.940, 36 laps
Palmer: “That was a pretty straightforward over my side of the garage; I think all the action was on Kev’s side today. We did have a few moments pushing the limits as we learnt the new track surface in the morning but the track’s still very rewarding to drive. We made decent progress for the afternoon session and should be well-placed for further improvement tomorrow.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We had a difficult start to the day with Kevin’s car. There was a problem with a valve on a fuel breather pipe which meant that fuel escaped from the vent, causing a fire. The crew did a great job keeping everything under control so we could address the problem. We changed fuel systems for the second session and don’t expect any further issues. Jolyon had two clean sessions and was happy with his car balance in the afternoon. Kevin was able to complete half of the afternoon session and has a baseline to work with. Between both drivers we have some good information to progress set-up and tyre performance on the new track surface here in Sepang.”