The first two practice sessions for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the home race for the team’s title partner PETRONAS, took place today in the intense heat and humidity of the Sepang International Circuit.

· Each driver had an extra set of Pirelli development tyres available in P1 this morning
· Michael and Nico also used the session to complete a series of aerodynamic evaluations
· The focus for P2 was an in-depth study of the hard and soft tyre compounds available for this weekend
· Set-up work was also completed in preparation for racing in the challenging temperature conditions

Michael completed 55 laps and finished the day in P5, while Nico completed 54 laps on his way to P7.

“We had a pretty good first day on track here in Sepang. We definitely made a step in the right direction, we were closer to our level of performance from Barcelona than in Melbourne, and I am hopeful there will be more to come. We had two typical Friday sessions, trying out a lot of things for future developments, and it looks we can make further improvements. Today, our aerodynamics and our KERS system worked very well, and I look forward to more to come in the next two days.”

“Today was a productive day for us. We made progress on our set-up work compared to the last race and the team worked well. There are still issues that we have to solve, but I think we are a bit closer to the pace. I’m now looking forward to qualifying and we will look to take another step forward tomorrow.”

“We have had a much better day here than we experienced in Melbourne. There are some issues which we need to look into and resolve but it is, without doubt, a more positive start to the race weekend. Our basic lower fuel pace looks reasonable. We need to improve the race pace as the car wasn’t consistent enough and that will be the focus for our work tonight.”

“It was a productive day for the team, with many laps completed and few problems. We focused on our race set-up today, but there is still more work to be done tomorrow.”