The opening practice sessions for the Turkish Grand Prix took place in contrasting conditions at Istanbul Park today. Morning rain saw the teams using Pirelli wet tyres throughout P1 before the track dried out sufficiently for slicks in P2.
P1 gave Michael and Nico a valuable opportunity to evaluate the car on the wet tyres for the first time since winter testing. With a dry track in P2, the team completed initial dry tyre evaluations with the hard and soft compounds. Nico completed 43 laps and finished the day in second place, with Michael completing 39 laps in fourth position.
“We have made a decent start to the weekend and I am optimistic for tomorrow. We had a productive afternoon and tried a lot of things with the car. I didn’t have too many problems with the tyres on the long run and I was quite surprised by the grip levels, which were higher than I expected. The wet tyres had a lot of grip this morning too. I’m happy with what we learned and expecting a very interesting time tomorrow and on Sunday.”
“We had quite a positive Friday, and it was especially good that we were able to test both wet and dry tyres. I hadn’t really driven the wets so I am pleased I finally had some opportunity to use them. Also, my sessions were quite eventful with three spins in Turn 11. All in all, our car confirmed the performance improvement from China, so we can look forward to the rest of the weekend. We still have some questions relating to the set-up but I am confident we will sort them out tomorrow.”
“We had a reasonably good day and it was nice to get a lot of work done. We had a good opportunity this morning to see what the car was like in the wet conditions. It was also the first time that Michael had really driven the car in the wet, so that’s useful as the conditions this weekend could still be mixed. Then we had a nice dry session this afternoon and completed a lot of work on low and high fuel. The balance of the car isn’t there yet and there is a lot of work ahead, but the team and drivers have worked very well today.”
“The morning session in the wet saw Nico and Michael complete 32 laps and the lap times on wet tyres looked quite good. In dry conditions this afternoon, we ran 50 laps and worked through our planned programme. I would not read too much into today’s positions in both sessions; there is more work to do for tomorrow.”
Source: Mercedes GP