The 2013 Formula One season got underway today with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completing the first two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Lewis was unable to complete his final run after running into the gravel at turn three due to damage to the floor of the car. Nico began P2 with a gearbox issue but the team chose to run, with the problem only stopping the car on his final run.
Nico Rosberg (Best time: 1:26.322 - P3): "That was an interesting day for us. There are a lot of new things to learn with the car and we made some good progress over the day.
We can certainly be happy with our testing programme when you compare where we came from last year. My car had a gearbox problem at the end of the second session but these things happen and it doesn't affect us for tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton (Best time: 1:26.772 - P7): "Overall it was a good day, if perhaps not the smoothest. I'm happy with where we are and to see Nico in third place on the timesheets shows that we're pretty competitive.
That's a reflection of a great job that everyone has done at the factory and here at the track. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
Ross Brawn: "We had a very good day today until the last five minutes of the second session. Nico's car had a gearbox issue which we were aware of during the session but decided to continue running to maximise our track time as far as possible.
With Lewis, there was some damage to the floor of the car from an earlier run which caused him to go off. Overall it was a very reasonable first day and we were able to get a good picture of the tyres and the balance of the car.
There will be the inevitable late night in the engineering office as we look over today's data and work out how to optimise the car for tomorrow.
Toto Wolff: "Apart from the few laps we lost with each driver at the end of second practice, it was a useful and busy test day for the team. We completed most of our programme on a range of fuel loads and collected our first impressions of the tyre behaviour here in Melbourne.
It was a solid start to the weekend and another milestone passed for us. Now we need to continue improving the car overnight and see what tomorrow brings in qualifying.
Mercedes AMG Petronas