The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team were on top once more in Brazil, finishing first and second in both free practice sessions, with Nico Rosberg setting the pace ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg was happy after finishing on top in both sessions, but was a little worried about the tyres blistering on the new Interlagos asphalt in the warmer-than-expected conditions, but with cooler temperatures expected for the rest of the weekend, he is relishing the battle to come.
“That was a good day and we are very quick again at this circuit,” said Rosberg. “The track has a new surface, which made it quite tricky. It’s smooth and not quite so bumpy as it has been in the past – but the tyres were blistering because of the high temperatures and the new asphalt. That was a bit worrying, but we are expecting it to be a bit cooler over the weekend.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow – it should be a great battle.”
Despite finishing second to Rosberg in both sessions, Hamilton believes there is still time to be found on his side of the garage, especially as he feels he did not manage to get a lap together due to small mistakes. He bemoaned the red flag periods for affecting the long runs late in the day, but admitted it disrupted everyone and not just the Championship leading Briton.
“The car felt good today,” insisted Hamilton. “There are a few improvements we can make but I just didn’t manage to put a lap together out there. That’s not a big issue, though. Its just practice so that’s what we’re out there trying to do.
“I’m not sure how many laps we’ll get out of the tyres as there were quite a few red flags at the end so we didn’t get the best opportunity for long runs but that’s the same for everyone. It’s hard to tell where the tyres are compared to 2013 with the different compounds, as we didn’t have any dry running until the race last year. Otherwise the circuit felt good.
It’s nice and smooth and the grip is good. It’s different every time we come here and you never know what the weather is going to do. But that’s what makes this such an exciting race.”