Nico Rosberg admitted that Friday’s running at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace might not mean that much with weather conditions for the rest of the weekend set to be much cooler than they were during free practices one and two.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer and current championship leader, who could clinch the title this weekend, was third fastest in the morning session before moving up to second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, with the duo separated by just 0.030 seconds.
Rosberg admitted Red Bull Racing were close to the pace of his team, but also felt that there was unexpected tyre blistering on the rear tyres on the Medium compound tyre, which was much more expected on the Soft compound.
“It’s been very hot out there today – more so than we expect it to be for the rest of the weekend,” said Rosberg. “As a result, that makes it difficult to fully prepare for qualifying and the race. Other than that, it was a pretty normal Friday.
“Our car looks quick but Red Bull are definitely close. The Soft tyre is degrading quite a lot on the long runs, with blistering on the rears. There’s a surprising amount of degradation on the Medium tyre too – but I think overall we’ve got decent pace on the long runs.
“Strategy-wise it won’t be straightforward for the race. But, again, it’s meant to get quite a lot colder so we could see something completely different on Sunday. It’s great to be back in Brazil. It’s a proper race track and it always feels special driving somewhere with so much history and tradition.”