RENAULT are in a buoyant mood ahead of tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix after two productive practice sessions.

The Enstone-based team, who sit fifth in the constructors championship, had both drivers inside the top ten yesterday.

Nico Hulkenberg was tenth in the first practice session and sixth in the second.

The German is in high spirits as he bids for a third-straight point-scoring finish.

He said: "We’ve got a good starting-point with the car, so it’s a case of seeing what we can do to get the most out of qualifying then the race.”

Carlos Sainz, who was eighth in both sessions, added: “It was a clean Friday and I’m feeling more comfortable with the car."

Grove-based Williams, who are yet to score a point in 2018, endured a difficult day.

Lance Stroll was 20th in first and second practice, while Sergey Sirotkin was 15th and 16th.

The former said: "The car seems a little bit better on ultrasofts, like in Australia, but we are still towards the back.

"I think it is going to be difficult again to get out of Q1."

Sirotkin added: "It’s tough, but we didn’t expect it to be easy. We know where we are and we know there’s a lot of work to be done."

Haas’s drivers had a mixed day on the track.

Kevin Magnussen was seventh in both sessions for the Banbury-prepared team.

He said: “It was a good day for me – another good Friday. I’m happy with what we’ve seen.”

But Romain Grosjean was left frustrated, posting the ninth and 20th fastest times.

He said: “We know Shanghai is a difficult circuit, so we’re studying all the options. The time-sheet for today is not really representative of where we are.”