2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

MERCEDES DRIVER NICO ROSBERG GOES FASTEST ON P ZERO RED SUPERSOFT TYRES

CONDITIONS IN FP2, RUN DURING THE EVENING, MOST REPRESENTATIVE OF QUALIFYING AND RACE

TYRE WEAR AND DEGRADATION IN LINE WITH EXPECTATIONS BUT MORE TRACK EVOLUTION EXPECTED

Abu Dhabi, November 27, 2015 – Mercedes drivers dominated the action at the two Friday free practice sessions in Abu Dhabi, with Lewis Hamilton going fastest in FP1 on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, and Nico Rosberg setting fastest time of the day in FP2 on the P Zero Red supersoft.

Of the two sessions, FP2 was the most representative as it ran in the same late afternoon to evening conditions that will be the case in qualifying and the race. This means that track temperatures are falling rather than rising, which has an influence on the way that the tyres behave. The teams concentrated on understanding how that influence worked today, on both tyre compounds and with differing fuel loads. However, greater evolution is expected over the rest of the weekend, which will tend to make it faster and grippier, as more rubber is laid down.

The session finished with 29 degrees of track temperature: slightly cooler than last year, with similar conditions expected for the race. There was a small amount of front graining on some cars when on supersoft. After some quite fast long runs seen today, the data collected sofar suggest two pit stops are looking likely on Sunday.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: “We saw two very busy sessions and quite a wide variation in the rate at which teams improved by switching from the soft to the supersoft tyre. This was largely a result of the changing track temperatures, which affect different cars in different ways. However, the track is still evolving, so we’ve not quite seen the full picture yet. During FP1 we experienced some thermal degradation as expected: however this stabilised during FP2, which was more representative of race conditions anyway. Nonetheless, we’d anticipate some degree of thermal degradation to remain a factor during the race, with drivers having to look after the rear tyres in particular.”

FP1: FP2:
1.Hamilton 1m43.754s Soft new 1.Rosberg 1m41.983s SuperSoft new
2.Rosberg 1m.43.895s Soft used 2.Hamilton 1m42.121s SuperSoft new
3.Raikkonen 1m44.500s Soft new 3.Perez 1m42.610s SuperSoft new

Tyre statistics of the day:

Soft SuperSoft Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 4554 1621 0 0
sets used overall ** 63 20 0 0
highest number of laps ** 24 24 0 0

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Pirelli facts of the day:

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which was inaugurated in 2009, has only been won once by a driver starting from below the front row of the grid. This was courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen, who won for Lotus from fourth on the grid in 2012 and kept the world entertained on his in-car radio by reminding his team to: “leave me alone – I know what I’m doing.”