Nico Rosberg: “The new track surface is really enjoyable to drive”

Nico Rosberg - Credit: Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team

Nico Rosberg felt the new track surface introduced to the Sepang International Circuit this weekend was enjoyable experience after ending the two Friday practice sessions by sharing the top spots with team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver and current championship leader after winning the past three races, set the pace in the opening session on Friday morning by 0.494 seconds, but was forced to settle for second in the afternoon, losing out to Hamilton by 0.233 seconds.

Rosberg felt the tyres brought to the circuit this weekend by Pirelli are all working well, and he feels the team are on the right track with regards to set-up for the rest of the weekend.

“The new track surface is really enjoyable to drive,” said Rosberg. “Challenging, but with good grip. It’s tough to get the set-up right with such an unknown element as new tarmac, but we’re on the right track.

“Turn 15 is interesting, as you can now try several different lines if you’re attacking the guy in front, so that will be good for overtaking.

“Looking at the race, even the soft tyre held on pretty well out there, so we don’t expect any big surprises. Strategy-wise we have to run the hard compound, of course, but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward. I’m looking forward now to qualifying.”