While ambient temperatures look good, track temperatures tend to run high. As ever, teams will be working to ensure tires stay within their optimal working window. Additionally, this being a relatively new track, and one that’s rarely used throughout the year, the surface is very smooth.
Sole tire supplier Pirelli has nominated its P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft compounds, the same used for 2011’s inaugural race.
At the end of Friday’s practice sessions, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel was the quickest, having topped the timesheets with 1:26.221 after 35 laps. His teammate Mark Webber was right behind him, posting a fastest lap time of 1:26.339 after 33 laps.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest, clocking a time just 0.599 of a second behind the Aussie.
Going into tomorrow’s qualifying session and Sunday’s eventual race, Sebastian Vettel leads the points table with 215 points, just six ahead of Fernando Alonso. Third on the ladder is Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen, who has 167 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 367 points, but now Ferrari is second with 290 points, which is just ahead of McLaren’s 284 points.