Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished the first day of track action in Barcelona in first and second places respectively.
The newly titled F1 W05 Hybrid topped both of today's practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The drivers completed a total of 95 laps today across the two practice sessions, just under 1.5 race distances.
Nico's mileage was restricted by an ERS cooling system problem in the first session and he completed just nine laps. Both cars enjoyed a trouble-free second session and finished the day 1-2 after completing low and high fuel runs.
Lewis Hamilton (FP1: 17 laps, 1:27.023, P1 / FP2: 33 laps, 1:25.524, P1): "It's been a great day today and I'm happy to be back in the car after what feels like quite a long break. I can feel the positive step forward that we've made with the car so a big thank you to everyone back at our factories for all of their hard work since China. Our two practice sessions today went very smoothly, in fact I've not had such a good Friday for a very long time! Barcelona is a difficult circuit in terms of the tyres so our running was all about trying to see how long the tyres would last and we were able to make some positive changes with that during P2 this afternoon. It's very difficult to overtake here so we will do everything we can to qualify as high as possible tomorrow, but really it is all about the race and looking after those tyres is the most important thing. Just finally, it's great to see so many fans here today enjoying the action in this beautiful weather.
Nico Rosberg ( FP1: 9 laps, 1:28.168, P5 / FP2: 36 laps, 1:25.973, P2): "The team have done a great job during the short break that we have had since China. We have brought some new upgrade parts here to Barcelona this weekend and they are working quite well on the car. It looks like we are very quick again, however personally I didn't feel very comfortable in the car today, especially as I had limited running in P1. We still have a lot of work to do tonight and I will be working closely with my engineers to find my perfect set-up for the weekend."
Toto Wolff: "Barcelona is a milestone in this year's calendar in terms of understanding the relative performance of different teams and we are pretty happy with how this first day went. It was unfortunate that we suffered a problem with the ERS cooling system this morning which cost Nico track time but he recovered well in the afternoon. Lewis had a smoother day and put in a strong performance throughout with a good long run on the option tyre this afternoon - unfortunately, Nico encountered traffic when he was doing the same programme, which made it harder to analyse his pace. Overall, we seem to have a good set-up basis which is important because we know how demanding this race can be for the tyres. Our updates seem to be working well so far and we will keep pushing hard tonight to see where there is more performance to be found for qualifying and the race."
Paddy Lowe: "During Nico's first run this morning, we uncovered a problem with his Hybrid system which unfortunately cost him the rest of the session as we resolved it. However Lewis had a good, fault-free session and was able to complete his programme, which gave us a baseline indication of both the car balance and the pace. Both cars ran through the afternoon session without issues. Our lower fuel runs at the start of the session allowed us to focus on the preparation of the tyres for qualifying runs, and we were then able to evaluate the endurance of the option tyre in the longer runs. That work has given us some very good information for Sunday afternoon. Tonight's task is now to analyse the data we have collected today to optimise the car's performance for both qualifying and the race. Overall, it has been an encouraging start to the weekend."
Mercedes AMG Petronas