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Australian GP: Practice notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
14/03/2014

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton got the new Formula One season underway for Mercedes AMG Petronas at Albert Park this afternoon with the first two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis missed most of P1 after his car stopped on track during the installation lap due to a sensor calibration problem. A consistent second practice saw the pair top the timesheets, and a total of six Mercedes powered cars in the top ten. Lewis' fastest time in P2 of 1:29.625 compared to a fastest time of 1:25.908 in 2013, albeit with harder compound tyres.

Lewis Hamilton: It really was a day of two halves today. While it was disappointing to not get any track time this morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we'll have to get used to that. It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and found the balance relatively fast. I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it's a positive start but we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying.

Nico Rosberg: It was so great to be back in the car today and I'm very pleased with the progress that we made. As always on a Friday, we don't really know where we are in terms of pace yet and how much fuel everyone else was running in comparison to our programme. It's definitely going to be very tough on fuel here, as we expected. The screen on my steering wheel shows the fuel target for each lap and we're going to have to be very disciplined in the race. It's a pretty good start for us overall and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Toto Wolff: We had a difficult start to the first session with only Nico able to complete any useful running; however, these kinds of problems are part of the game with new technology. The team did a strong job to prepare for P2 and we recovered well in the second session. We ran through our programme as planned and can be pleased with our pace, both on single laps and longer runs. Overall, I think we saw a lot more laps today, from a lot more cars, than many people had expected - and that made it a good day for this new era of Formula One.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

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