MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS kicked off the final weekend of the 2014 Formula One season at the top of the time sheets during practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Lewis and Nico separated by the narrowest of margins on a scorching opening day's running at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Lewis topped the times during both the morning and afternoon session, with Nico P2 in each0.133 seconds separated the pair in the first session, with just 0.083 between them in the second sessionBoth drivers ran the soft compound Pirelli tyres only in the morning session, the soft and supersoft in the afternoonBoth cars ran trouble-free throughout each sessionDrivers
Lewis Hamilton It's been a good Friday. We've run the same programme as we run every race weekend but this time we had the whole of both sessions to work with the tyres, look at long runs, analyse setup and the countless other things you need to assess in practice which was great. We made good steps forward with the setup but, as always, there is still more time to be found. We'll keep chipping away at it and look to improve in every area possible but the car feels great - the best I've ever driven here without doubt. The team have done an amazing job. Coming into the weekend I was already excited and couldn't wait to get out on track. When you know you have a package as competitive as ours it's like being a kid at Christmas. I don't feel any particular pressure this weekend. I'll just drive the way I always drive and what will be, will be. So far it's all moving in the right direction so I just have to keep working away at it. Nico Rosberg It's been a good day today but I really haven't got my best lap together yet, so there is still a lot of work to do over the rest of the weekend. In general the car felt great out there today. I just need to fine-tune it so that the set-up is exactly to my liking, then go for it and get the job done. This track really is amazing. It's always a highlight when darkness falls and the lights come up - just spectacular! It will be a great show here, so I hope the fans at the circuit and everyone watching at home enjoy it. Toto Wolff That was a positive Friday and we are pleased to have started off this title-deciding weekend with both cars running smoothly throughout. We completed our programme with plenty of laps on the board and our long runs shaping up as expected. Without doubt the tension and pressure are on - which is normal when the Championship comes down to the final Grand Prix of the season - but actually it doesn't feel any greater than at any other race. There is a good spirit in the garage and we are all looking forward to seeing what the rest of the weekend holds. Paddy Lowe The final and most important Friday of this incredible season and, thankfully, all went to plan! We managed to complete our homework in the first and second sessions on the different tyres with no issues to report and both drivers were happy with the performance of the car. Our pace looks strong and we've got good data from the tyres that will help us plan for Sunday. We will be working hard overnight to optimise both qualifying and race setup with the objective of locking out the front-row and giving a clear competition between Lewis and Nico on Sunday. There are a few other cars that are quicker than they seem, so we are not taking anything for granted.