Valtteri Bottas believes the softer tyre compounds have helped Mercedes, after he finished second in practice two behind teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Pirelli opted to bring the C5 tyre, which has only previously been used in Azerbaijan and Monaco, to the Austrian Grand Prix and it has already had some positive consequences for some teams including Mercedes.
"The softer tyre compounds make a big difference," Bottas told the press. "It feels like the tyres are holding on better in the long-runs and I think the temperatures will be quite variable over the weekend so let's see what effect that has on the tyres.
"Max [Verstappen] was a bit out of reach last weekend but it's a new week, we've learned a lot, I like to think we're closer but no doubt they'll still be very quick.
Bottas revealed that he is more comfortable in the car compared to the Styrian GP and is hoping that he and the team can take confidence from their impressive Friday afternoon performance.
"With the second week, every single margin in terms of cornering performance and driving performance becomes smaller," said Bottas. "So it's more about fine-tuning rather than finding big chunks of time.
"I think we started OK in terms of how the car feels, much better than last week, so hopefully we can build from that.
"It's practice so you never what programs other teams are running. No doubt the Red Bulls are still strong and they are gaining on the straight which has been a bit of a weakness for us, but we'll find out in qualifying when everybody turns their engine up."