As part of his duties as the squad’s Official Test Driver, Nicholas remained in Hungary after his podium-winning F2 performance last weekend, to drive the team’s current R.S.17 car during the opening day of the test (Tuesday).
The Canadian completed 54 laps with a best time of 1min 20.302secs, the seventh quickest of the day. This was the second test day in the car for Nicholas, who also drove for the team at a Pirelli test in May.
Tuesday’s programme was focused on aerodynamic assessments and evaluations, and Nicholas was able to provide the team with plenty of data before morning running was curtailed by a technical issue.
A resulting engine swap ate into the afternoon session, but Nicholas returned to the track for the final hour to experiment with different settings and gather more data.
The 22-year-old said: “After the Pirelli test in Barcelona I was really looking forward to getting out in the car again. Okay, the delay was a bit frustrating but 54 laps in a current-spec F1 car is more good experience and I really enjoyed the seat time.
“The main positive is that we were able to complete the team’s testing objectives for aero development. The car felt great and I hope I gave the team all the feedback required.
“I was a bit frustrating knowing we had two sets of ultrasoft tyres waiting in the warmers, but the test was still a positive experience and a great way to round off the this part of the season and head into the summer break.”
Alan Permane, Renault Sport Formula One Team sporting director said: “Nicholas did a good job on his second time in the R.S.17. In the morning we focused on aero elements around the rear wheels and he gave us good feedback. Unfortunately, we had an unscheduled engine change at lunchtime which meant a modified run programme for the afternoon.”