Mercedes duo struggling with balance
19 April 2013 – Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have admitted that they struggled to find a positive car balance throughout Friday's pair of practice sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the Mercedes pair seeking significant improvements overnight.
After ending the day eighth fastest, Rosberg said the biggest challenge has been trying to find a compromise between a tyre-friendly set-up and ultimate performance.
"Our programme was pretty good today in that we managed to complete everything on our plan," said Rosberg after his day of work. "However, it's clear that we weren't as strong as on the Fridays of the previous three race weekends. The car had a lot of understeer and the race will be very tough on the rear tyres.
"The problem is that when you want to save the rear tyres, you try to set up the car with more understeer and that costs you time over one lap. So it's all about finding the right compromise. We've still got some work to do tonight to find a good balance for tomorrow and the race."
Hamilton, who finished tenth on the overall timesheets, believes there are some questions to ask over the direction Mercedes has taken with its set-up in Bahrain.
"We worked as hard as we could today but couldn't quite get the balance of the car to where it needs to be," said the 2008 World Champion. "I had some issues in FP1 which we were able to improve for this afternoon so that's a positive, but we need to identify where we are losing time and find more performance.
"We have changed the set-up of the car to what we thought would suit this track but we need to look at that and make sure it is the right direction to go. The heat here is so hard on the tyres so another positive is that we did as many laps as possible to look at long runs. We're not as far off as we might look today but there is a lot of hard work ahead and it will be a tough battle for us."