Mercedes expects tyres to be a challenge again
The Spanish Grand Prix weekend got underway today with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg completing the two ninety-minute practice sessions in blazing sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Mercedes AMG pair completed a total of 112 laps today during practice, including 77 in the afternoon session.
The fastest first practice time was around 0.7s quicker than in 2011; the fastest in P2 just over 0.9s slower.
Nico Rosberg, F1 W03/03:
"Generally all worked well today, but there are also a few question marks after the two sessions. Tyre management will be a big challenge again this weekend, and that will be the key for success. We have got plenty of options to work though this evening to find the right set-up for the conditions out there tomorrow and on Sunday."
Michael Schumacher, F1 W03/05:
"The way it worked out for us today demonstrated that the testing we did in Mugello was worth it, so again I'm happy we had the chance to do that. Of course it was very warm today and therefore the track was quite slippery, but that was according to our expectations. Our feeling for the weekend is pretty okay after everything we have learned in the two sessions, so we will now analyse the data carefully in order to work out exactly how to approach qualifying and the race from everything we have learned in the two sessions today."
Bob Bell, Technical director:
"The practice sessions went reasonably well for us today, and certainly the new parts that we have here this weekend worked as expected with no reliability issues. We also saw the benefit of the work that we did in Mugello last week, particularly the understanding of how the tyres need to be used. We weren't quite as strong as we would have wanted to be in P1 this morning, however we made changes over the break and saw improvements this afternoon. Overall, a solid day's work which has provided the data that we need to plan ahead for the weekend."
Norbert Haug, VP of Mercedes Motorsports:
"A challenging first day with changing track conditions. We worked through an intensive programme with lots of laps to evaluate the two tyre compounds available. Our team learned a lot today and the plan is to make a further step tomorrow as we did today from the first to the second practice session."
Weather: Warm & sunny
Temperatures: Air: 22-30°C / Track: 24-45°C