Although Mercedes finished third and fourth in FP1, Andrew Shovlin stated the session was an odd one as both drivers were happier after some tweaks helped improve their pace in the afternoon.
Lewis Hamilton finished with the faster time in the morning, with the Briton finishing fourth in FP2 while Valtteri Bottas was down in 12th. While the final spots may not suggest it, Shovlin stated the pace shown by both Mercedes cars in the afternoon is encouraging in terms of their single lap and long runs.
"It's been a productive day for us and a lot drier than we'd expected from the forecast," Shovlin stated in a Mercedes press release. "The drivers were fairly happy with the car throughout the day; the first session was odd as we looked off the pace but the balance of the car wasn't far off where we expected it to be.
"There were a few tweaks to the setup going into the afternoon and encouragingly, our pace looked a bit better both on single lap and long run, although it could have been a mixture of conditions coming towards us and improving the car.
"It's a tricky circuit to set the car up for as the track warp in the slow speed corners makes it difficult to find a consistent balance and on such a short lap, any mistake can be very costly. However, we've got some good direction from today and can no doubt make further steps forward."
Weather could play a factor in how things play out in Austria, with rain possible on both Saturday and Sunday.
"The forecast remains unsettled so there's every chance we'll still get some wet running," Shovlin concluded.