Mercedes expect a close fight in the heat of Bahrain
- Valtteri finished FP1 in P3 with Lewis in P4
- In the second session, Lewis came home in P3 with Valtteri in P4
"It’s hard work out there for everyone; FP1 is incredibly hot, the track is at 50 degrees, so everyone is struggling with the tyres. The Ferraris have been quick from the get-go and picked up more pace from there, so it’s completely different to what we’ve seen in Melbourne. We had some issues with the balance of the car, but we’ve made improvements for FP2. At the moment it looks like the Ferraris are ahead, so we have to keep our heads down, keep working, analyse things tonight and try and come back stronger tomorrow. I think as we get to Qualifying, everything will get a little bit closer, but it is going to be a tough battle."
"FP1 is always a bit difficult in Bahrain because the track is still a bit dusty and the track temperatures are very high, much higher than they are in Qualifying and the race. The car balance didn’t feel great in the first session, but we made some changes in between the session and the car felt much better in FP2. It looks like it’s going to be very close between us and Ferrari, they are clearly faster around here than they were in Melbourne. So we will have some work to do to improve the set-up of our car and I personally also have room for improvement left. It looks like it will be a hard fight tomorrow, which should make Qualifying very exciting."
"We’ve had two solid sessions here without any real issues. The first session is always a bit hot and it does affect the balance of the car as you get more rear overheating and oversteer. Both drivers were happier with the car when we got into the second session, picking up grip at both ends on the cooler track. However it’s quite hard to work out where we stand today. It certainly seems like we don’t have the advantage we had in Melbourne and also that Ferrari have made a good step forwards. Through the corners we had a decent balance on a single lap and the apex speeds look pretty good compared to our competitors. Ferrari are clearly quick on the straights here but it may be that they are running their power unit a little bit harder than we were today; we’ll find out tomorrow. There’s plenty we can work on overnight to try and find a bit more speed, especially for the long runs which had more degradation than we’d like – although that’s almost always the case at this track. Overall it looks like it should be an exciting qualifying and race and certainly a difficult one to know who’s going to come out on top."