Renault DP World F1 Team concluded its 2020 on-track season at the post-Abu Dhabi test with Fernando Alonso and Guanyu Zhou at the wheel of the Renault R.S.20s at Yas Marina.
It was a productive day on both sides of the garage - Fernando accumulating 105 laps and posting the fastest time as he edges closer to his Formula 1 return with the team in 2021. Zhou completed 98 laps, recovering strongly from a spin at Turn 19, which partially delayed his morning’s programme.
The purpose of the day’s test was to enable both drivers to grow accustomed to modern Formula 1 machinery across low fuel qualifying simulations and high fuel race runs.
Fernando and Zhou recently tested the two-year old R.S.18 at the same venue a couple of weeks ago on demo tyres, while for today’s running, they sampled Pirelli’s C4 (Medium) and C5 (Soft) compounds.
It was good and very nice to be back in the car especially with the race team. I’ve been testing the 2018 car in preparation but this one felt a bit more serious and it ignited a little bit the competitive spirit. It was great to feel the modern cars and experience what they can do. I was watching the team’s progress at the weekend closely and it was nice to experience what I learnt from the outside and then inside the cockpit today. We signed off lots of basic things we did in preparation at the factory like seat fitting, pedal position and so on, which is beneficial with only one and a half days of winter testing next year. We ticked boxes today and we go into Christmas and New Year with good spirit and everyone motivated in the team.
Fernando Alonso, #14, R.S.20-06, P1, 1:36.333, 105 laps
It was a pretty decent day. I got used to the car straight away, we did a lot of laps including race runs and performance runs, which were very interesting. Our pace was reasonably stable, so I was happy with that, especially this morning’s performance run. There were a couple of technical things here and there, but it is testing, we still did a lot of laps, and that is the main purpose. I wasn’t really looking for lap time and during the last two sessions, together with the team, we found a good balance on the car in comparison to the evening sessions at the weekend, so that’s positive learning for the team. Overall, I’m really happy with my first time driving the 2020 car, so thanks to Renault for the opportunity.
Guanyu Zhou, #46, R.S.20-05, P9, 1:37.902, 98 laps