Messy Start To Suzuka Weekend For Mercedes

Mercedes AMG Petronas will be hoping for a trouble-free practice session on Saturday morning after both drivers saw a session end prematurely today. Nico Rosberg was the first to hit problems in FP1 with his W03 turning itself off as a precaution following an oil pressure problem. With a fresh engine for FP2, Rosberg set the eleventh fastest time but still feels underprepared heading into tomorrow.

“We had a tricky day. At the end of the first practice session, the oil pressure sensor told me the system was low on pressure so I switched off the engine. It was coming to the end of its life, so we changed it during lunch to avoid any risks, but it cost some running time this afternoon. We are still not where we want to be in terms of performance and we will have to learn some lessons overnight, in order to make sure we have our tyre management under control.”

Teammate Michael Schumacher was marginally quicker in eleventh but his afternoon ended in the tyre wall at Spoon curve after he touched the dirt with his right hand tyres. Schumacher was unhurt but remains concerned at the balance problems he encountered today.

“We had two quite eventful sessions today, with a lot of work on the cars and my off in the afternoon. I had to go to the Medical Centre which was a precaution from the FIA but I am 100% okay. I think I was already concentrating too much on the corner ahead of me and therefore had a wheel on the dirt and went off. Overall, we had not been able to collect as much data as we would have wanted, as we had a lot of breaks working on adjustments to the cars, and we will also have to improve the balance. Obviously, with these temperatures the tyres will be a limiting factor, too. We will now certainly have to work a lot off the track, in front of the computers, and try to find the best approach for tomorrow.”