Both Mercedes drivers had positive comments about the Korean International Circuit today as they participated in the two ninety-minute Friday practice sessions.
Nico Rosberg finished the day ninth fastest after completing 50 laps on the newly laid asphalt.“The track is nice to drive and it should be good for racing with long straights and hairpins where you can try to overtake,” he said. “The grip levels were fine after the first few laps and probably not as slippery as we expected.
“We did a good job with the set-up and the car feels pretty similar to the last few races so there are no particular issues to address. The tyre graining which we have seen today could create an interesting race. We’ll keep working to improve overnight and into qualifying tomorrow.”
Michael Schumacher finished the day twelfth, and was very positive about the new circuit, of which he completed 51 laps. “The track has been very good and I enjoyed driving it today,” said the seven-time world champion. “Of course a new track with totally fresh asphalt needs to rubber in but it got better and improved massively over the day.
“I am very pleasantly surprised with the circuit. It is very demanding, challenging and tricky which provides a challenge that I like a lot. It has been a good day for us and we have been able to do a lot of work on track. We look pretty reasonable in terms of speed and pace and my aim would be for the top ten in qualifying and to score points in the race.”
Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, also praised the circuit, and said that the team had made a good start to the weekend. “We are all very pleased to see the cars running for the first time here in Korea today and credit to the venue for ensuring that everything was ready on time for the practice sessions,” he said. “We’ve had a reasonable first day with the car looking particularly strong in the first sector where we showed good straight-line speed.
“The grip levels came in quickly and positively over the day which helped. Everyone is finding that the tyres are struggling with graining on higher fuel levels, particularly on the option, but if the track continues to improve, that may ease. Overall we can be pleased with our start to the weekend.”