Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2012: Friday's Free Practice Reports (MBAMGF1 + VMM)

I. Friday's Report from MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

The final Grand Prix weekend of the 2012 season got underway at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo today.


• Michael and Nico completed 72 and 76 laps respectively of the 4.309 km circuit
• The team spent the morning session evaluating the 2013 development tyres provided by Pirelli
• This afternoon saw the usual race preparation work with the medium and hard tyres for this weekend

Michael Schumacher
“It was a reasonably good day, and we kept working on our planned programme. However, the predictions for Sunday at the moment are for rain, so there may be totally different conditions then. We therefore have to see what we can make of today´s data and transform it into a good qualifying and, even better, a good race.”

Nico Rosberg
“It was a decent Friday for us today. There were difficult conditions out there because of the high track temperatures and the altitude which made it hard to find grip. However we managed quite well and, especially on the long runs, the pace was good. So I hope we can do better here than in the previous races. But it will be tough for us, and our focus is still on learning and understanding for 2013.”

Ross Brawn
“We had a pretty good final Friday of the season today. We had the 2013 development tyres from Pirelli to work with and spent this morning going through a series of evaluations. It was a good session and we collected a lot of interesting data. This afternoon, we focused on race preparation and high fuel work. The car seems fairly well balanced and the tyres for this weekend proved consistent despite the high track temperatures. There is speculation that Sunday will be very wet so it may prove futile, but we’ve completed a large part of our preparation if it remains dry.”

Norbert Haug
“A smooth and decent first day for us at this last Grand Prix of the 2012 season. During the first session, we had our first experience with the Pirelli tyres for the 2013 season. In the second session this afternoon, our lap times looked quite consistent during our race simulations. The weather forecast predicts rain for Sunday and slightly cooler temperatures tomorrow than we experienced today when track temperatures reached about 50 degrees. If the forecast is right, everybody will have to handle different conditions than experienced today.”

II. Friday's Report from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

LEWIS HAMILTON
- MP4-27A-04
- FP1: 1m14.131s, 33 laps, 1st
- FP2: 1m14.026s, 35 laps, 1st


“It’s been a positive first day – I hope we can maintain our form or even progress it tomorrow. We’re certainly looking strong, but this place can be so tough on tyres that it’s hard to make any accurate predictions at this stage.

“The track and ambient temperatures were so high today that it felt almost as though I was sliding around the track with the tyres melting! Having said that, our long runs are usually tougher on the tyres [than shorter runs], but our long runs still looked quite good today.

“It’s great to have such a positive final Friday with the team – it’s been one of the best Fridays we’ve had for a long, long time, in fact. I’m savouring every moment of this weekend, and I’ll be taking photographs of my engineers and mechanics through each day.

“The car feels really good – thanks, guys – and it would be the perfect Saturday if I could take pole tomorrow.”


JENSON BUTTON
- MP4-27A-03
- FP1: 1m14.217s (+0.086s), 31 laps, 4th
- FP2: 1m14.863s (+0.837s), 40 laps, 8th


“We were running a lower downforce set-up package to Lewis this afternoon. It was quite an interesting comparison, but, in the hot weather, lower downforce makes things trickier because the car slides more, which hurts the tyres.

“Still, it was a useful test, because we needed to see how well the smaller rear wing works. Obviously, it operates in a different way [from the higher-downforce set-up package], so we wanted to be able to understand that.

“Using the smaller rear wing, our long-run pace was surprisingly good. However, our single-lap pace wasn’t as strong – probably because we weren’t able to use DRS as fully as we could with the bigger wing.”


MARTIN WHITMARSH
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Topping the time-sheets in both today’s sessions was a nice fillip for the whole team, and it gives us great motivation to carry that momentum forward with us for the rest of the weekend. Indeed, our car appears to be competitive on both low- and high-fuel loads, and, as ever, I’m sure our hard-working engineers will once again mine the data this evening, further to refine our package ahead of FP3 and qualifying tomorrow.

“For Lewis, it must have been an emotional final Friday with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. But, as ever, he performed faultlessly. Jenson, too, has worked diligently with his engineers, following a divergent set-up route from Lewis’s, and has given us plenty of useful data to work through this evneing.

“Finally, the decision to provide each team with 2013-spec Pirelli rubber was extremely useful. Many teams, ourselves included, took full advantage of the opportunity to measure and understand the new tyres’ behaviour ahead of their introduction next year. It was an extremely productive day in terms of strengthening our understanding of a key performance variable.

“Now, though, our focus narrows towards qualifying: we expect strong competition from our key rivals, but we’re in a good position to fight for pole, and victory, this weekend.”






























































































~ Official photos and reports courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ~

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