The German driver, who was crowned world champion for the fourth time in India last week, finished the first session in third place before topping second practice.
He believes Lotus is quick, but it is difficult to know where they fit in: “It’s difficult to say today how we compare to the others, we know the Lotus is quick here, but we also had decent pace today. It’s not always so easy at this circuit with the conditions changing throughout the day; we start in the sun and finish at night and the track temperature changes during that time. But, no big issues, so I’m pretty happy.”
Team-mate Mark Webber felt that there was a lot of emphasis on tyres during the two practice sessions, admitting that the soft tyre looks to be holding up well: “The second session today was more representative of the race and qualifying than the first, due to the time of day and temperatures. It was a lot about the tyres today; I think the soft tyre will hold out better here than it did last week.”
He added: “It wasn’t a bad feeling for the first day, we got the information we needed, so let’s see how we get on tomorrow. We’ll go through everything tonight and try to understand the car on both tyre compounds.”
The Aussie finished the first session in fourth place before moving up to second to make it a Red Bull 1-2 in the second session. He completed 52 laps over the course of the day, one shy of Vettel’s tally.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic