Nico Rosberg led the way in Friday afternoon practice at Sakhir, as Mercedes-powered cars filled the top four in the Bahrain GP's second official session.
The two works Mercedes entries were first and third with Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button with Mercedes power were second and fourth.
Hamilton's best lap was 0.4s slower than Rosberg's, and the former world champion reported severe tire wear after just a handful of laps on the harder rubber early on. Schumacher was half a second off his teammate's pace in third, and 0.2s ahead of Button.
The ninety-minute morning session gave drivers the opportunity to try out the revised circuit layout with its eight new corners for the first time as they completed initial installation and set-up work on their cars.
The drivers will be back in action tomorrow morning for the final practice hour before qualifying begins at 14:00 local time.
NICO ROSBERG "We improved the car over the course of the day but it didn't feel great initially with the new track, lower downforce and the conditions were very sandy this morning. So we had a few balance issues to work on but it came together very well this afternoon. There are areas where we can still improve but we have a good comparison with the tire compounds and on the long runs. Overall we learnt a great deal today so it's a positive start to the weekend."
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER "We worked very well this afternoon after having a few issues with the balance this morning. The car felt much better in the second session although I am still a little rusty on one lap runs and need to get back into the routine. On the long runs, the car felt good and once you get into the rhythm, it feels very natural. I'm happy with our work today and feeling ready for the weekend."
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