The 2012 Formula One season got underway today with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, taking part in the first two practice sessions in Melbourne ahead of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
Overnight rain meant a damp track for the first session, with the use of dry tyres only possible in the final half hour. A further heavy shower before the start of the second session again ensured little track action early on. Nico and Michael were able to go out for one dry run just 15 minutes before the end of the session. The pair completed 72 laps in total, and finished the second practice session with Michael in P1 and Nico P9.
“Today was a nice start into a hopefully exciting season, and certainly two promising sessions for us. However, I would not go so far as to speak about being confident, as the weather conditions were too mixed to gain a clear picture. We know what Friday sessions are for and don’t know what fuel loads others were running. On the other hand, it is good to see that we were competitive in different circumstances today and that the car provides good handling – I just feel it.”
“I’m pleased with the start to our weekend today in these mixed conditions. We learned a lot for the race here in Melbourne over the two sessions, so it was a very productive day. I feel very comfortable in the car which is the most important thing for me today. So all went well and we had no surprises, however to find out where we really are compared to the others was impossible in these conditions. So I’m really looking forward to the next two days here.”
“It’s obviously been a patchy day with the weather conditions, however we have achieved a reasonable amount of work on varying fuel levels. Whilst the overall picture is still not clear, Michael and Nico seem quite happy with the cars at the end of today’s two practice sessions. Tomorrow should see a dry morning, and we will start to get a better perspective. Everything ran smoothly today which is a tribute to the team, and everyone at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth has done a very good job to prepare for this first race. So far at least, it’s going well.”
“A decent start for us on this first Friday of the new Formula One season. Michael felt well in our new car, as did Nico. Both drivers concentrated on race simulations with different programmes, and both were on the medium tyres as the team took the decision to save a set of options for the better track conditions tomorrow. Our team worked perfectly today which gave us a good start into the new season.”
Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas