The two Mercedes drivers feel that their team have made a step forward since last weekend’s Malaysia Grand Prix after setting the fourth and fifth fastest times in second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix today.
Nico Rosberg completed 57 laps in total today, finishing fourth fastest on the timesheets. The German is yet to finish in the points this season, but said that the performance today gave him more optimism for a good race this weekend.
“Today we made a small step forward, particularly this morning where we learnt some positive things with the car compared to Malaysia,” he explained. “The balance was quite good today, and I really enjoy driving this track. We don’t really know where we are right now, and of course what everyone was doing, but today’s running gives me hope for an improved performance tomorrow.”
Michael Schumacher also had a good day of running, completing 52 laps on his way to finishing the day as the fifth quickest driver.
“We’ve had a good working day here during the first outings on the Shanghai track,” said the seven-time world champion. “We have changed our working approach this weekend, and I think this has paid off.
“We concentrated mainly on high fuel loads, and it seems we can find the set-up better than starting from low fuel. The long runs were good in my view which is clearly an improvement on the first two races. There is room for further improvement so I look forward to understanding what we can achieve in qualifying.”
Team principal Ross Brawn shared his drivers’ cautious optimism, and hopes that the team can continue this level of performance into the rest of the weekend.
“We’ve had a reasonable day and achieved all of the work that we had planned for both cars,” he said. “The engineers and drivers did a good job between the two sessions to improve the balance and everything ran smoothly. It’s good to start the weekend with a positive day so we will see how we can continue to progress from here.”