Michael Schumacher was encouraged by his car's pace in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver admitting it was stronger than expected. Schumacher posted the eighth-quickest time of the day in the afternoon, having finished in the same position in the morning.
"I'm pleased with our practice today as the car looks better than I had expected here and I didn't face any real issues," said Schumacher. "So now we hope for a clean qualifying tomorrow where we will try to achieve as much as we can."
Teammate Nico Rosberg, on the other hand, admitted he endured a challenging day after being hindered by a gearbox problem in the morning session. The German finished down in 11th in the afternoon.
"It's been quite a challenging Friday for me," said Rosberg. "Unfortunately, my morning was hampered by a gearbox issue which cost me some running time at the end of the session which wasn't ideal. From then on, I just haven't been as happy with the car here.
"I had a lot of understeer which we haven't established the reason for, so we need to look into that overnight. Things started to come together more on the option tire, which gives me hope that we can build on that progress tomorrow. It should be an interesting weekend with the rain, so we will try to make the best of that."