A productive Friday gives us plenty of data to work through ahead of the second of two races at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, with the field looking even closer than last week.
The Austrian Grand Prix weekend got off to a strong start, with Red Bull Racing topping the times in the first session and Scuderia AlphaTauri quick throughout both practice sessions on Friday.
There was a brief scare at the very start of FP1 as Yuki had a small excursion through the gravel at Turn 4, but he quickly recovered to enjoy a very productive session, setting the fifth fastest time. Yuki was within 0.1s of second place, with Max setting the pace and enjoying an advantage of more than a quarter of a second.
All four Honda-powered cars were in the top ten once again, with Sergio in eighth and Pierre in ninth during a session where there was a lot of testing of prototype Pirelli tyres. The Italian manufacturer provided all of the teams with four sets - two per driver - to use during Friday practice in order to evaluate a new rear construction.
There is also a change of compounds for this weekend, with Pirelli providing tyres that are one step softer than the last race, providing a slightly different challenge.
On the soft tyre runs in FP2, Max was third quickest behind the Mercedes drivers, while Yuki continued his strong day in sixth and Pierre was seventh, just 0.023s between them. Sergio didn’t get a representative lap in and was 11th overall, but completed the most mileage as he amassed 39 laps.