by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2012: Friday's Free Practice Report (MBAMGF1)

The opening day of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix saw the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg complete 33 laps and 37 laps respectively during the two 90-minute sessions.

• Both drivers evaluated development items this morning, before conducting race preparation this afternoon
• Nico experienced a precautionary engine shut-off at the end of P1 because of an oil pressure problem
• The engine, which had completed nearly 2000 km, was changed in the break for another unit from his allocation
• Michael went off the track at Turn 13 in the second session, bringing his day to an end 15 minutes earlier than planned

Michael Schumacher
“We had two quite eventful sessions today, with a lot of work on the cars and my off in the afternoon. I had to go to the Medical Centre which was a precaution from the FIA but I am 100% okay. I think I was already concentrating too much on the corner ahead of me and therefore had a wheel on the dirt and went off. Overall, we had not been able to collect as much data as we would have wanted, as we had a lot of breaks working on adjustments to the cars, and we will also have to improve the balance. Obviously, with these temperatures the tyres will be a limiting factor, too. We will now certainly have to work a lot off the track, in front of the computers, and try to find the best approach for tomorrow.”

Nico Rosberg
“We had a tricky day. At the end of the first practice session, the oil pressure sensor told me the system was low on pressure so I switched off the engine. It was coming to the end of its life, so we changed it during lunch to avoid any risks, but it cost some running time this afternoon. We are still not where we want to be in terms of performance and we will have to learn some lessons overnight, in order to make sure we have our tyre management under control.”

Ross Brawn
“That wasn’t the smoothest of Fridays for us today. After an oil pressure problem this morning, we changed the engine in Nico’s car over the break which took us into the afternoon session, and then ran through a slightly compressed tyre comparison and race evaluation programme. With Michael, we decided to do a fairly major set-up change before the second session which cost us running time. Towards the end of the session, it appears that Michael put a tyre on the dirt going into Turn 13 and lost control the car. While it’s not an ideal start to the weekend, we were able to collect a lot of data and complete some important set-up changes, so we will work on those tonight to be in better shape tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug
“It was a Friday with some interruptions for our team. Nico lost some practice time at the beginning of the second session following an engine change, which was necessary after an oil pressure problem at the very end of the first session. With nearly 2000 km, this engine was approaching the end of its life-cycle. Michael was one of quite a few drivers who left the road under braking at Turn 13, which happened towards the end of the second session with only minor damage to the car. Today we found a baseline set up for qualifying and the race which will be refined in tomorrow morning’s free practice session.”

~ Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS ~

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