Max Verstappen is relatively pleased with how his Friday in Austria went, however the Red Bull driver is hoping he and the team can find some more speed on the soft Pirelli tyres given Mercedes' pace on the compound.
The Dutchman finished FP1 atop the time sheets, however Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas got the better of him in the afternoon. Verstappen knows his run on the soft Pirelli tyre wasn't perfect, however he was pleased with his overall performance.
“Mercedes seem very fast on the soft tyre,” Verstappen said after the second free practice session at Red Bull Ring. “For our part, the run on the soft tyre was not perfect, nevertheless I felt good in the car, and everything feels quite good.
"There aren't really any problems so we just have to make sure we find some more speed on the softs because I think we look good on the mediums and also in the long runs it looks good, and that is ultimately the most important.
As for qualifying on Saturday, Verstappen expects it to be another close battle with Mercedes given the pace they showed on Friday.
“It will be exciting, Mercedes has become stronger, we will see it during qualifying tomorrow," Verstappen added. "The most important thing is to make the softer compounds last during the race, that will be a challenge.”
It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discussing Max Verstappen's ever increasing championship lead, and whether Mercedes can turn things around over the next few races..