Michael Schumacher was pleased to have put so many laps on the updated Mercedes W03 this evening although he is still unsure how quick they truly are around Singapore. The seven-times champion was eleventh quickest overall despite having to end his second session early and was fairly happy with the feeling of the car early on.
“We had two productive sessions today, however I have not yet understood the real picture. We will definitely need to have a good look at the data this evening and extract the true performances shown. We were running the new parts today and the car felt reasonable, although at the end of the second session, we had a little brake issue and had to stop. Now we will have to work hard in front of our computers to find out what our chances will be this weekend.”
Teammate Nico Rosberg was eighth fastest and believes the team have taken a step forward since Monza, even though he isn’t certain how big that step is.
“That was a busy day for us as we needed to learn a lot about our new updates. It always takes some time to understand how things really work on the car, and there is a lot that we can take away from today to study overnight. In general, I feel we have made some progress but it is too early to make any predictions of how the weekend might go from here.”
A hot, intense weekend lies ahead and Team Principal Ross Brawn believes looking after the tyres will be the deciding factor once again.
“Today was our first outing with our new bodywork and exhaust package at a race weekend, and everything ran reliably. It’s clear that getting the tyres to work at their best in the hot and humid conditions is going to be a real challenge for everyone this weekend. We need to make some progress in that area as consistency and degradation of the tyres will be key to having a good race, so that will be a strong focus for what we do overnight. We had a slight brake issue with Michael’s car at the end of the second session which is why we stopped a little early, otherwise the cars ran well, and we have a lot of good information to look through this evening.”