Nico Rosberg topped the charts in Bahrain's second practice, outpacing team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen…
Nico Rosberg: "It was a good day today. The afternoon session wasn’t very useful as the conditions are so hot and really quite different to what we see in the evening – which is of course when qualifying and the race will be held. That makes the second session very valuable and we learned a lot – for example that Ferrari are very good on the long runs. On qualifying laps we look quicker but on race pace they are really strong so we will have to do a lot of work tonight to find the perfect setup. Tyre wise it’s all been pretty straightforward. Both compounds are robust – it’s just their absolute pace that should be a factor. Qualifying will be important as we saw in the last few races. But I’m feeling good about my pace on one lap and the long runs too so confidence is high."
Lewis Hamilton: "We’ve had a good day in terms of getting the long runs in and understanding the tyres. Working on race runs was the priority – although we did also show strong single lap pace. On my fastest lap I locked up into Turn 8 so lost out a bit there and there’s a few areas I need to work on to find a bit more time. It’s difficult to say how long each compound will go but the option feels great. From what I can see it shouldn’t be as tough as it was in Malaysia from a tyre perspective and we’re definitely in a better position this weekend than at the same stage in Sepang. Despite that, I’m sure it will still be very close with Ferrari, who look very good on the long runs. Generally, though, it’s been a positive start."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I still haven’t had a look at the lap times of the session, but I think we are not as good as we want to be. In the second session it was a bit tricky with the set-up, we had some problems with the handling and we struggled in a few places. This evening we’ll analyse all the data in order to improve and do a better job tomorrow. Having a clear qualifying makes life easier in the race. I don’t know if we can challenge Mercedes, tomorrow is another day, conditions can change and this plays a big part, so let’s wait and see."
Sebastian Vettel: "I came out of the garage and had a problem. I hit the brakes but suddenly there was a blow and I couldn’t brake properly. Therefore I hit Sergio Perez in the corner. Of course I’m sorry, but I couldn’t do anything else in that moment. I was looking for Sergio to say sorry, but he was still sitting in the car. My fast lap was not perfect, but everything in the car feels good. Of course tonight it was quite different from this afternoon, as it was much colder. It’s hard to say if we got closer to Mercedes, everybody seemed to be closer to them but I’m sure they didn’t show everything today."
Valtteri Bottas: "It has been a good Friday. The car feels good but it’s only Friday so it is hard to compare us against our competitors. We are still focusing on tyre performance in a race situation and have made progress, especially with the option tyre, although I think there is a bit more performance to find. We look quite strong for qualifying, but the race pace is important and we need to work hard tonight on this area."
Felipe Massa: "I struggled with the balance of the car today but the team have shown there is good pace. We need to work hard tonight and make the right changes to get the car balance right, and then show the pace that Valtteri has shown today. We have also been working on tyre performance and have certainly made steps in the right direction."