Max Verstappen may have been unhappy with the handling of his Red Bull RB16B during the morning session, but setup changes made by the team over the lunch break helped him find the stability he needed to go quickest in the afternoon.
Verstappen was quickest of all, setting a time 0.008 clear of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, although the Dutch driver was on the soft tyre compared to Bottas' best being on the medium, and Verstappen was smiling after the session.
"Yeah, I think we improved quite well, even during the session," Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
"Of course, FP1 I wasn't entirely happy. And then when FP2 also started, still not amazing.
"But I think the second set, the car felt a lot better, a lot more connected. But it's still really difficult around here, the track is very open. It's quite windy out there. So it's not easy to nail the lap but, overall, it's been a good end to the day so we can be competitive tomorrow.
"Today was good but, I mean, you never know what people will find overnight. But today also, long runs seemed quite decent. But for sure, I expect it to be very tight, definitely not easy."
Team boss Christian Horner expects the rest of the weekend to be extremely close between Red Bull and Mercedes, and explained how the team unlocked a little bit of extra performance.
"It was obviously some setup changes over lunch. So you heard Max sounded a bit happy with the car. But it's still very tight.
"It was a bit of everything. So a little bit of aerodynamic, a little bit mechanical., so it's finding that sweet spot with a car and the tyres which seem to be quite difficult to get lit up here."