Fifth place - and best of the rest - in opening practice for the Japanese Grand Prix appeared, at first sight, to be a promising start to the weekend for Nico Rosberg, but the German already knew that the next couple of days were going to be tough.

Rosberg arrived at Fuji aware that he will be demoted ten places following Saturday's qualifying session, after the Williams team revealed that it would have to change the Toyota engine in his car. The unit had been 'fresh' for the Belgian Grand Prix and therefore failed to last the two-race requirement.

The penalty will be a blow to both Rosberg and Williams, who had hit a decent run of form towards the end of the European campaign. The German broke into the top ten prior to coming to Japan, while Williams claimed a stake on fourth in the revised constructors' standings and now lies just eleven points behind Renault with three races to run.

Rosberg, meanwhile, got on with the business of the day, including learning the revamped Fuji circuit.

"The track is a lot of fun to drive, it's very cool," he commented, "It has taken a bit of time to learn so, even though we've had two sessions today, there are still some tricks to pick up. The circuit has a whole range of demands - low downforce here, high downforce there, so we have been trying lots of options and I think we arrived at some good conclusions for tomorrow.

"In terms of tyres, it is again pretty close between the two options we have, so it will be interesting to see what everyone else does. But, regardless of that, it doesn't seem too complicated and both tyres seem to work well."

 

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