Nico Hulkenberg says Renault is “pumped” ahead of the new season after a reliable pre-season meant they were able to amass laps and data.
The German and his team-mate Carlos Sainz covered almost 800 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya during the eight days of pre-season testing.
And while there were a few niggles along the way, it was a much better pre-season than last year when Renault managed less than 600 laps.
Only 7 days left until 🇦🇺 and I feel positive. We’ve certainly made progress, not just over the whole of 2017 but also over the winter. We won’t know anything, or where we’re at exactly, until Saturday’s qualifying. I’m ready for that challenge! #F1 #AusGP @RenaultSportF1 pic.twitter.com/sFSjEjdSva
— Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) March 18, 2018
“I feel positive,” Hulkenberg said.
“We’ve collected a lot of miles and data over winter testing which isn’t always the case, so that’s really beneficial to the team.
“I have a year’s worth of experience with the Renault family so that’s a good advantage for the first race. We’ve certainly made progress, not just over the whole of 2017 but also over the winter.
“We won’t know anything, or where we’re at exactly, until Saturday’s qualifying. I’m ready for that challenge and excited to get down to it and give it my all.”
The 2018 season kicks off this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix, one of Hulkenberg’s favourite races.
He added: “I’m ready to go and I can’t wait to get the season underway.
“Australia is one of my favourite races because Melbourne is a great city, and the fans are always fantastic, knowledgeable, passionate about motorsport and know a lot about Formula 1.
“Albert Park itself is beautiful, especially in the morning when you see it’s packed with fans. The circuit is unique and packs a couple of challenges in places.
“It’s a good way to kick-off the season as everyone is pumped and very excited to get into the car and race.”