Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2011: Free Practice Report (MGP)
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg began the team’s preparations for the season’s only night race, the Singapore Grand Prix, around the Marina Bay Circuit this evening.
• The start of P1 was delayed by 30 minutes and reduced to one hour due to action required to repair damaged kerbs
• The team focused on race preparations, particularly an intense evaluation of the soft and supersoft Pirelli tyre compounds
• Michael completed 39 laps with Nico totalling 41 laps over the course of the two evening practice sessions
“As usual on these types of circuits, the track is pretty slippery and provides low grip. It was not really useful therefore that the practice time was cut, because we had a big programme to work on. But then, it was what it was, so we made the best out of it. The picture overall is probably as expected: no big surprises, and maybe the most obvious thing is that the difference between the tyres is quite big. For the rest, it is too early to say as we did not have the time yet to analyse the practice sessions fully. I like the race here; it is a bit like the modern Monaco, very exciting with more run-off areas.”
“It was difficult to learn a lot in the first practice session this evening due to the interruptions. However in the second session this evening, we were able to work through a lot of set-up changes and learn a lot about the car. I was on higher fuel levels to help our understanding of how to prepare the car for the race. It wasn’t a perfect day but a decent day for me and hopefully we can make further progress tomorrow.”
“Singapore always hosts a spectacular weekend and it is a race which the teams and drivers love. The Marina Bay Circuit is an extremely challenging track to find a balance which will look after the tyres during a demanding race situation. Therefore all our work today focused on race preparation and this confirmed how challenging the race will be. The critical element will be the longevity of the tyres and understanding how to work them to the maximum for as long as possible. We made good progress during the sessions and have a lot of information to work with tonight.”
“Firstly our compliments to the organisers here in Singapore for hosting this unique Grand Prix which produces the most spectacular images of the whole Formula One season. Michael and Nico concentrated on race preparation today, and did not run the same programmes all the time. This will be a challenging race for our current technical package but our guys are working very hard to make the best out of it in order to achieve a respectable result.”
* Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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