Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both expect to be higher in the order than they were on Friday with their focus away from qualifying performance today. Rosberg was the quicker of the two in seventh and felt tyre management was a much bigger priority than outright pace today.
“We worked a lot on our long run pace today, rather than being quick over one lap. As we saw in Melbourne, tyre management will be the key to success, so that’s our focus for the practice sessions. The conditions were tough out there and the heat is unbelievable. Generally we learnt a lot today but we still have some homework to do tonight and tomorrow.”
Hamilton was ninth fastest, a second down on pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen, but also stressed that he hasn’t attempted a genuine run in qualifying-spec yet.
“We made some positive steps with the set-up over the two sessions today. I had a good long run in the dry which has given us a lot of information to look at tonight. We didn’t learn too much in the wet this afternoon however as the conditions were quite mixed when I went out. We focused mainly on longer runs today so I haven’t done a quick lap yet on either set of tyres; that will come tomorrow. I’m happy with the direction that we’re going and let’s see what the weekend brings.”