Mercedes: Both drivers seemed reasonably happy with the car

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

The first two practice sessions for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place this afternoon and into the evening at Yas Marina.

  • Nico and Lewis completed a total of 125 laps today, equivalent to more than two race distances
  • Track temperatures evolved significantly with a maximum of 47°C in P1 and a minimum of 33°C in P2
  • Both drivers completed the usual long runs in P2, running soft (option) then medium (prime) tyres

Lewis Hamilton: Today was a fairly standard Friday programme for us, although the second session is always more valuable here as it’s so much more reflective of the race conditions. As the temperatures cool down, the characteristics of the car change and you get an increase in understeer, so the main challenge is to try and pre-empt the set-up that you’re going to need. Physically it gets easier when the sun goes down but you don’t even notice the visibility change as they do such a good job of lighting the track. A decent start today but there’s a lot of work ahead of us over the weekend and we’ll give it everything we can as always.

Nico Rosberg: We didn’t learn a great deal during the first practice session today as it was so hot and we won’t have those conditions in qualifying or the race. I struggled a little on the option tyres but was able to find a better rhythm when we switched to the primes. It should be an interesting race from a strategy perspective as the tyres seem to be right on the limit of one or two stops. Our aim is to be the best of the rest again which I’m quite confident we can achieve and score some important points.

Ross Brawn: It was an interesting Friday, covering the full range of track conditions and the circuit changed quite considerably in the cooler temperatures this evening. We had to follow those developments carefully with the car set-up and the balance in order to get the most out of our running. Lewis had a differential control issue in the second session which hampered him somewhat, although we managed to recover the situation during his running. Otherwise, we tried to maximise our time out on track in order to learn as much as possible about the tyres, especially in the most representative race conditions this evening.

Toto Wolff: We completed our programme today with few issues and both drivers seemed reasonably happy with the car. We made some positive changes between the first and second practice sessions and the drivers and engineers will be working hard overnight to find more performance. The car seems quite competitive but there are a lot of quick cars out there and I am sure it will be very close tomorrow.