Nico Rosberg topped both practice sessions at Suzuka on Friday with Lewis Hamilton coming second on both occasions.
Mercedes drivers ran the hard and the soft compound tyres in the morning session. Rosberg ran the medium and the soft tyre in the afternoon, whilst Hamilton ran the hard and the soft tyre.
“It’s been a case of finding my way today. It began with quite a lot of under-steer and we had to work through the setup in order to find a better balance on the car. In the afternoon, the medium tyre didn’t seem as strong as the hard as we saw in Malaysia”, Rosberg explained.
“However, on the soft tyre we showed strong one-lap pace, the balance felt good and the track was really exciting to drive. It looks like we’r e ahead of the Ferraris but it remains to be seen as to where we are compared to the Red Bulls.”
Having no problems with the car, Lewis Hamilton described the opening day in Suzuka as a good day.
“We managed to get plenty of laps in but there’s still some work to be done overnight in order to find more pace. That’s a work in progress and hopefully we’ll be going into Sunday in good shape. It’s great to be here in Japan and I’m excited to get out on track again for qualifying tomorrow,” the Brit said.