Nico Rosberg is confident Mercedes will be able to emerge as best of the rest behind Red Bull after Friday practice in Abu Dhabi.
Teammate Lewis Hamilton was third fastest behind the Red Bulls, 0.355sec off Sebastian Vettel’s pace, with Rosberg fifth 0.423sec down. Rosberg, who finished second in last weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, was content with progress during practice.
“This morning, it was not possible to learn much but this evening was very important because the conditions are exactly what they will have in qualifying tomorrow and in the race,” said Rosberg. “As always, the aim is to be best of the rest behind Red Bull because they are untouchable and it’s looking good for now.”
Hamilton endured a challenging Friday despite being the best-placed non-Red Bull on the time sheets. A differential problem made things difficult for him during Friday practice but he’s confident the team learned plenty about the tires.
“The long run is always interesting,” said Hamilton. “It’s difficult to know what the car is going to do and as the car gets cooler, it goes into more understeer and it’s about how much more or less front wing you need.
“That’s the big challenge, just trying to balance how fast you go to how much you save the tires to make them last longer.”