FP1 & FP2 - Russian GP report: Mercedes
Nico topped the morning session with Lewis P2
Lewis ended the day with the fastest time in the afternoon session, while Nico was third quickest. Both drivers ran the Soft and SuperSoft compound tyre in each session.
"It’s good to be back in the car after what’s felt like a pretty long wait since China. It’s been a constructive day to start the weekend, too. We got through most of our programme except one last little bit at the end as some of my tyres were flat-spotted but no big drama there. I think we’re looking strong here - but we need to keep working hard if we are to try and stay ahead of the Ferraris. They look like they might be another step closer this weekend. We’ve got a few things to look at to make sure we perfect the setup for qualifying, so we shall see how it goes..."
"It’s been a solid start to the weekend. It’s difficult to get it right at this track, as there’s only a small window where the tyres work perfectly and a lot of places where you can easily make mistakes. I didn’t manage to hook up a full quick lap on the SuperSoft in FP2. But, aside from that, it was a good day. The car felt good on a quick lap this morning and again on the longer runs this afternoon, so that’s very encouraging. It’s great to back here in Russia and I very much look forward to the rest of the weekend."
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
"We ran a fairly regular programme today. There are two main challenges of this circuit. The first is to get a clean lap, as there are a number of tricky braking zones - particularly at Turn Two. The second is to understand how to get the best from the tyres. As a relatively new circuit, the tarmac is still very smooth, making it difficult to generate temperature in the rubber - particularly in cooler conditions like we’ve seen today.
Nevertheless, we end the day reasonably happy, with all of our Friday homework complete and both drivers satisfied with setup thus far. We’ve brought some minor upgrades to the Power Unit this weekend, including a new engine oil from PETRONAS. The main test item of the day was to make sure that this package was all working correctly for the rest of the weekend, which seems to be the case. Tomorrow will be all about understanding how to get the best single lap pace out of the car for what will undoubtedly be a close qualifying battle with Ferrari."