The Mercedes team is confident that drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be able to overcome any setback caused by the loss of free practice on Friday.
Running was limited to just 20 minutes in FP1 before the session was red flagged. The stoppage was caused by the safety helicopter being grounded by poor visibility. The afternoon session was completely abandoned when weather conditions over Shanghai failed to improve.
“Missing Friday means we go into qualifying and the race not knowing as much about the tyres as we’d like,” admitted Mercedes’ technical director James Allison.
“For example how long they will last and what the performance difference is between the compounds. Those data are the basis for your race strategy.
“We’ll miss the time for set-up tweaking to fine-tune the balance as well. But these days you arrive at the track with a pretty good balance so we shouldn’t be hurt too badly.
“The nature of modern Formula 1 is that, even if it’s wet in practice, we limit the amount of running,” he admitted. “You don’t want to spin off or damage the car and be on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.
“So most of the time when the drivers use the wet tyres it’s a voyage of discovery for them,” he continued. “That’s where you see their ability really come to the fore.
“We are fortunate that, in situations like this, our two drivers have the skills to limit any disadvantage.
“Saturday should be the best of the three days in term of weather but Sunday is looking quite troublesome.”
- China FP2 session abandoned over visibility concerns
Valtteri Bottas said he was sorry for the fans about the lack of action on Friday.
“A big thank you to all those loyal fans for their support,” said the Finn. “I promise we’ll do all we can to make it exciting in qualifying for them tomorrow and especially on race day.
“Hopefully we get some dry running in FP3,” he added. “If it is wet on Saturday or Sunday it’s no big drama.
“We have a little bit of information on the intermediate tyre,” he noted. “More or less the same as any other team, so we’re all in the same situation.”
GALLERY: All the pictures from Friday in Shanghai
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