Renault juniors Lundgaard, Piastri, Zhou handed Bahrain tests

Luke Smith
·2 min read

Renault will conduct four days of private testing at the Bahrain International Circuit between 29 October and 2 November, splitting the running between three members of the Renault Sport Academy.

The test programme will be conducted using the Renault R.S.18 car - its latest F1 model not limited by testing restrictions - and continue the development of the trio.

F2 race winner Lundgaard will commence the test running on 29 October, enjoying his third F1 testing appearance, with the Dane believing it will assist in his preparations for his upcoming season finale in Bahrain.

“I am very excited to be testing the R.S.18 next weekend,” Lundgaard said.

“I’ve done two test days before in a Formula 1 car, so we’ll be looking to build on where I left off.

“I’ve never actually raced in Bahrain, so doing the test will be valuable for me especially since I’m driving there for the final two rounds of championship.

“We’ll be looking to use the test to prepare for the race and also for me to learn more about the car. There is nothing better than learning a track in an F1 car, so that’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Lundgaard will then hand over to Piastri for the second day of testing, making the Australian’s first outing in F1 machinery following his title victory in FIA Formula 3 this year.

“It’s safe to say I am very excited to be driving the R.S.18 next week in Bahrain,” Piastri said. “Obviously, it will be my first test in a Formula 1 car, so it will definitely be a moment to cherish and remember for a very long time.

“There will be lots to learn on the day, such as getting used to the power, downforce and braking of the car and it will all be a challenge, but I love tackling new ones.

“I drove the Bahrain circuit earlier this year when we did the FIA Formula 3 pre-season test, but I’ve obviously never lapped the circuit in an F1 car, so I can’t wait to get out on track.”

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The final two days of running will then be conducted by Zhou, who has regularly conducted private test running with Renault this year in its 2018 car.

“The tests in Bahrain are part of a planned programme that the Academy has delivered every year for the past three years,” said Renault Sport Academy director Mia Sharizman.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to show the progression and level of achievement of the drivers in the Academy.

“Christian and Zhou will be in the R.S.18 for a second time, whilst Oscar will be experiencing his first time in a Formula 1 car as a reward for winning the FIA Formula 3 title plus it is part of his continued progression in the Academy.”