Mercedes Drivers Bemoan Curtailed Practice Session in Singapore


Nico Rosberg - Photo Credit: Pirelli
Nico Rosberg - Photo Credit: Pirelli

 

Both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg complained of how the shortening of FP1 in Singapore today disrupted their practice programmes, which were mainly focused on race preparations.

The opening session of the weekend was delayed by 30 minutes whilst damaged kerbs were repaired, and was subsequently reduced to just one hour.

Over the course of the two sessions, Schumacher appeared to have the upper-hand over his Mercedes team-mate and finished the day sixth on the timesheets.

“As usual on these types of circuits, the track is pretty slippery and provides low grip,” said the seven-time world champion. “It was not really useful therefore that the practice time was cut, because we had a big programme to work on. But then, it was what it was, so we made the best out of it.

“The picture overall is probably as expected: no big surprises, and maybe the most obvious thing is that the difference between the tyres is quite big. For the rest, it is too early to say as we did not have the time yet to analyse the practice sessions fully. I like the race here; it is a bit like the modern Monaco, very exciting with more run-off areas.”

Rosberg ended the day down in P15, but explained that he was on higher fuel loads. “It was difficult to learn a lot in the first practice session this evening due to the interruptions,” he noted. “However in the second session this evening, we were able to work through a lot of set-up changes and learn a lot about the car. I was on higher fuel levels to help our understanding of how to prepare the car for the race. It wasn't a perfect day but a decent day for me and hopefully we can make further progress tomorrow.”

Team principal Ross Brawn said that it had been a positive day for the team, and thinks that tyre wear could once again be a big story this weekend.

“Singapore always hosts a spectacular weekend and it is a race which the teams and drivers love,” he said. “The Marina Bay Circuit is an extremely challenging track to find a balance which will look after the tyres during a demanding race situation. Therefore all our work today focused on race preparation and this confirmed how challenging the race will be.

“The critical element will be the longevity of the tyres and understanding how to work them to the maximum for as long as possible. We made good progress during the sessions and have a lot of information to work with tonight.”