Mercedes Cautiously Optimistic After Strong Friday

Mercedes drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are hopeful of an improved showing this weekend after mixing it with the leaders in Friday Practice at Monza. The high-speed circuit would appear to play to the strengths of the W03 and Schumacher was fastest of all in FP1 with Rosberg leading the challenge with fifth in FP2.

Schumacher, still a popular figure in Italy with his Ferrari connections, was slowed by a DRS problem this afternoon but still learned enough to convince him he’s in for a good weekend.

“I am quite happy with the practice sessions as we achieved a lot of reasonable work with regards to long runs which was our main focus today. We have a different aero package for Monza which seems to work well so it seems to be looking better than in the last races. During the sessions, we made progress as well so I am curious to have a look at the data we collected and learn the full picture. It’s always nice to be back in Monza as I am still so warmly welcomed by all the tifosi. As I said earlier, I would like to say thank you for that and hope we can put on a good show tomorrow and in the race on Sunday.”

Rosberg was relieved to make it through the day untroubled after his disrupted weekend in Belgium and thinks the car has competitive pace in qualifying and race trim.

“That was definitely a better start for us than in Spa. We were able to complete a lot of laps today and it seems that we have a good pace on high and low fuel levels. As always, it’s difficult to say where we are compared to the others but I hope we can score some good points this weekend. It was great fun to drive on this amazing track, and I always like the special atmosphere here. Yesterday I went out on the old Monza track with a scooter which is great to see.”