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Renault planning complete overhaul of F1 car for 2018

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Renault Formula 1 technical chief Nick Chester is pleased with how plans for the team’s 2018 car are coming along, promising a “completely new” design despite the stability in the technical regulations heading into next season.

Renault has progressed up the F1 field since returning to the sport with a works team in 2016, and currently sits eighth in the constructors’ championship with two races remaining this season.

The team has arguably boasted the strongest development of its car through 2017, and although this may lay good groundwork for next season, Chester revealed plans are in the works for an overhaul of the current car despite the lack of changes between the regulations for next year.

“We’re making strong progress at Enstone and [2018 is] where our focus lies. It’s a completely new car despite a relatively low number of regulation changes,” Chester said.

“We’ve learnt a lot on the aerodynamic package and the balance of a car built to 2017 regulations, so the car should represent a strong step forward.

“We’ll be doing some aero runs in practice in Brazil with a variety of aero instrumentation to help prepare the 2018 package.”

Renault will be represented on the grid by Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. in 2018, with the latter joining the team four races early after a deal was brokered to usher out Jolyon Palmer after a tough season.

Sainz finished seventh on debut for Renault, and has already made a positive impact on the team in Chester’s eyes.

“Carlos has been very good. He had a fantastic race in Austin, he works with the team brilliantly, qualifies well and I think he’s done a great job so far,” Chester said.

“Mexico was tricky with low grip, particularly in the wake of other cars, which led to the spin in the race.”

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
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Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.