Michael Schumacher was satisfied after ending today in sixth place but admits it would be unwise to make any predictions for Sunday’s race, his last in Formula One. The seven-time champion was quick to acknowledge the weather forecast for race day and is therefore desperate to start as close to the front as possible.
“It was a reasonably good day, and we kept working on our planned programme. However, the predictions for Sunday at the moment are for rain, so there may be totally different conditions then. We therefore have to see what we can make of today’s data and transform it into a good qualifying and, even better, a good race.”
Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was hot on Schumacher’s heels in seventh and is hopeful on improving on the form he and the team have shown in recent races.
“It was a decent Friday for us today. There were difficult conditions out there because of the high track temperatures and the altitude which made it hard to find grip. However we managed quite well and, especially on the long runs, the pace was good. So I hope we can do better here than in the previous races. But it will be tough for us, and our focus is still on learning and understanding for 2013.”
Team Principal Ross Brawn admits today’s running may be rendered totally irrelevant should it rain later in the weekend but was encouraged by the level of competitiveness in the dry.
“We had a pretty good final Friday of the season today. We had the 2013 development tyres from Pirelli to work with and spent this morning going through a series of evaluations. It was a good session and we collected a lot of interesting data. This afternoon, we focused on race preparation and high fuel work. The car seems fairly well balanced and the tyres for this weekend proved consistent despite the high track temperatures. There is speculation that Sunday will be very wet so it may prove futile, but we’ve completed a large part of our preparation if it remains dry.”