Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Technical Director James Allison is confident the squad know where they are in terms of car set-up for qualifying and the race, despite the lack of running in Friday practice, ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Having seen the worrying weather forecast for today, the Brit was pleasantly surprised that they were able to complete an almost fully dry session in Free Practice 1 this morning, and says they crammed as much of their weekend’s practice programme into that first session as they could, to ensure they would be fully prepared for the race on Sunday.
“The weather forecasts for today were actually pretty unpromising from quite a long way out. We weren’t expecting much useful running at all in either of the sessions. So it was something of a blessing when we managed to get a largely dry FP1.
“We focused all our programme around trying to get as much race preparation as we could into that single programme. Although that may be an unusual session, it was actually quite a good one.
“Both cars getting their laps done, getting a feel for the car on high and low fuel and we were reasonably pleased with the initial balance and performance that the car is showing.”
Free Practice 2 was somewhat of a washout, which Allison says made it all the more important that they completed their race preparation in the first practice session of the weekend.
“Obviously after losing all of FP2 the rest of the weekend is still going to be something of a scramble, but at least we go into tomorrow knowing how we ought to set the car up for both qualifying and race.”