Three Renault juniors enjoyed runs in the Formula 1 team’s R.S.18 over the past week and Renault Academy Director Mia Sharizman was impressed by the speed in which his prodigies adapted to the more powerful machinery.
Christian Lundgaard, who tested on Day 1, and Guanyu Zhou, who tested on Days 2 and 3, had both previously driven one of the team’s cars and seamlessly returned to the cockpit.
The duo put in more than 200 laps between them and returned some valuable data to the team, whilst also increasing their own understanding of the car.
The primary aim of the test was to continue their progression towards a potential race seat in the future and comes on the back of their continued success in the F2 Championship.
With the test taking place in Bahrain, it allowed the duo some run time on the circuit ahead of the final two rounds of the season, which will take place in Sakhir.
“To be able to conduct the R.S.18 Test in Bahrain with all the additional organisation arrangement needed due to Covid-19, is a testament to our commitment to the Academy drivers.
“It was good to see Christian and Guanyu manage to complete their respective programmes, which was geared more towards preparing them for their remaining Formula 2 rounds in Bahrain later in the month.
“For both drivers to be able to do more than 100 laps per day, shows a step forward and upwards progression from their last year F1 Test in the R.S.17."
Formula 3 Champion Oscar Piastri made his debut in an F1 beast on the final day. Sharizman says he was impressed by the Australian’s attitude and pleased with the way he stepped up, despite having not yet driven an F2 car, let alone F1.
“I am impressed with Oscar’s approach for his first day in the F1 car. He managed to get up to speed pretty quickly and complete his run plan. We can see from his first day in the car that he is capable of adapting to a new car quite easily, which is one of the biggest traits that we would like to see.
“We had good feedback from the F1 engineers of the performance from all three drivers and they can see that the level is getting higher and higher each year, which is a good sign for things to come.”