Nico Rosberg is not concerned about his pace in Singapore despite finishing the second free practice session down in 13th place, saying that red flags prevented him from posting a quick lap on the super-soft tire.
The F1 championship leader finished the session down in 13th place, some 1.5 seconds slower than his teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets.
Despite the big gap, Rosberg is not concerned, and he explained to the media after the session that the red flag brought out for Pastor Maldonado’s crash stopped him from setting a representative time.
“I had a good feeling in the car,” he said. “The only pity was that I had to abandon my quick lap due to the red flags.
“Although I didn’t get the second part of that lap, though, in the first part the car felt great,” he added, having gone three-tenths quicker than the field in the first sector.
“We then decided to do more laps on high fuel to learn more for the race and overall it was okay,” Rosberg explained. “It will be difficult with tire degradation on the softer tire so we still need to work on that.
“But it’s generally a great challenge driving here. This is one of the most difficult tracks out there but to fight through all the curves and bumps – especially with this amazing Silver Arrow – is a great feeling.”
Mercedes’ technical boss Paddy Lowe said that Rosberg felt more comfortable with the car in the second session than he had in the first, but with Hamilton still not totally happy with the car, there is still plenty of work to be done at Mercedes overnight.
“Generally we enjoyed pretty good and reliable sessions with both cars, although Nico was happier with the car in the second session than in the first and vice-versa for Lewis,” Lowe said.
“We still have a lot more homework to do in order to fully understand the tyres, the race strategy and also to maximise the potential of the car, but a good start to the weekend and great to be back in Singapore.”