It may be the start of a new season but once again it was Mercedes who led the pack in both practice sessions. Lewis Hamilton topped both practice sessions both by nearly half a second on track. Over the past two years we have seen Mercedes strong from the start.
However the gap they have been used to appears to have gone but Ferrari could have been masking there true pace on track. But with drivers a little rusty there was few mistakes on track and Vettel didn’t set a time this morning.
As the sessions went on times did fall as you would expect and does take longer as this is a street circuit and the rain does wash away the rubber on track.
Haas made their first run of a Grand Prix weekend they appear to be doing OK with Estban Gutierrez in the first session making up four seconds. That is quite good when you take into account that in 2010 that the new teams were around 8 seconds off the pace.
Guenther Steiner said “During the first practice with the rain coming and going, we got some laps in but not as much as we’d hoped. However, we made the best out of the situation and made some progress. The second practice was very similar to the first one. We didn’t achieve as many laps as we wanted in the session.”
Tomorrow will see the first knock out qualifying this should spice up with the new knock out format. It still confuses me slightly but I think we all will learn as the next few races go on.
But expect it to cause drama on track as teams get use to the new format and expect unusual results as teams and drivers adapt to the change.