Rosberg says tyre wear higher than expected
28 March 2014 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has said that tyre degradation during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix was higher than anticipated after he set the fastest time at Sepang.
Rosberg narrowly edged out Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen during the second 90 minute practice session but remains way of the limitations of Pirelli's tyres.
"It was crazy conditions out there," said Rosberg. "In the very, very warm temperatures, it's a huge challenge to get everything right. The cars are on the edge and the tyre degradation was higher than expected today - we are sliding a bit more this year, perhaps because of the reduced downforce levels.
"We are still having some small issues and therefore we were not able to maximize everything today. The quickest teams seem to be closer together than in Australia, so we still have work to do overnight to improve our level of performance."
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the opening session and was fourth quickest in the second outing, just over a tenth of a second down on Rosberg.
"I'm happy with our progress over the two sessions today and we were able to complete our programme," said the British driver.
"The car feels good and our focus was on trying to understand the tyres and make sure the balance is right for the weekend. There are areas where we can improve so we're keeping focused on our own work, rather than being distracted by what the others are doing. It was pretty tough with the temperature and humidity."