Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg kicked off the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team’s track preparations for the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix today with the first two practice sessions at the Sepang International Circuit.
In sweltering conditions, Michael and Nico worked through an intense programme over the two 90 minute sessions.
The team focused mainly on tyre evaluations with the Pirelli medium and hard compounds available here and the drivers completed 108 laps of the
5.543 km circuit, finishing the day with Michael in P2 and Nico in P4.
For Ross: “We’ve had two good practice sessions today and achieved a lot of positive work. We know that we need to focus on tyre consistency and durability, and we learnt some valuable things today which we can hopefully carry into the race.
Equally, though, the team is always chasing a moving target when it comes to dialling the car in to the track conditions - and Ross was keen to highlight the importance of this: "We also need to make sure that we follow the track evolution over the next couple of days so that we end up with the right car for the race on Sunday. Overall, a very good start to one of our home races here in Malaysia.”
Norbert explained that “our focus today was on long runs under race conditions to learn about the best usage of both compounds Pirelli are supplying here. Sepang is a very demanding track in this respect with both heat and humidity contributing to the challenge on this wonderful circuit in the home country of our title partner PETRONAS. We learned a lot today and hopefully created a basis to work from tomorrow and on Sunday.”