The first two practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix took place in the searing heat of the Sepang circuit today.
- The team focused on race preparation and an evaluation of the hard and medium compound Pirelli tyres
- A brief rain shower during P2 caused some disruption midway through the session
- Nico and Lewis completed a total of 51 and 50 laps respectively today during the two sessions
We worked a lot on our long run pace today, rather than being quick over one lap. As we saw in Melbourne, tyre management will be the key to success, so that's our focus for the practice sessions. The conditions were tough out there and the heat is unbelievable. Generally we learnt a lot today but we still have some homework to do tonight and tomorrow.
We made some positive steps with the set-up over the two sessions today. I had a good long run in the dry which has given us a lot of information to look at tonight. We didn't learn too much in the wet this afternoon however as the conditions were quite mixed when I went out. We focused mainly on longer runs today so I haven't done a quick lap yet on either set of tyres; that will come tomorrow. I'm happy with the direction that we're going and let's see what the weekend brings.
We've had a good first day in Sepang. The programme focused on understanding the performance and consistency of the tyres and we learnt a lot today which will be relevant for the race on Sunday. The running was a little compromised by the conditions this afternoon but we had anticipated that and managed to get most of our work done before the rain came. Overall, I'm reasonably happy with the work that we achieved today.
We ran through a solid programme today where we focused most of all on race preparation on high fuel. We did two good long runs with Nico and Lewis, which has given us lots of data to compare. Well done to the guys for managing the programme so we could get the maximum from the dry track conditions. Tomorrow, we will concentrate more on one-lap pace and see where we stand. But we saw last weekend that, more than ever, this season is about being quick on Sunday, not just Saturday.
Mercedes AMG Petronas