Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 9

Another Productive Friday For Honda Power In Austria #F1

at Red Bull Ring

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.

Another Productive Friday For Honda Power In Austria #F1

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.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
Five days after the last race, we are back on the same track for the Austrian Grand Prix, the final part of the first triple-header of the season. With all the data from the Styrian GP, we were well prepared and the session went smoothly for both Honda teams, working on optimising settings for the weekend, completing the programme we had planned with all four cars.  It seems that the weather might change with the possibility of rain affected qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday. We will take that into consideration when planning our approach to the rest of the weekend.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
From our side we didn’t have a perfect run in FP2 but nevertheless I felt good in the car and there are no real problems. Mercedes looked quite quick on the soft so we just have to make sure we have a little more pace on that compound because we looked stronger on the medium and in the long runs, which at the end of the day is the most important for the race. We also tested the new Pirelli prototype tyre which seemed to be fine. It did get quite greasy out there but luckily it was good enough to keep on driving so we had a good read on the long run pace. I think it will be tight again this weekend as it looks like Mercedes improved a bit but we will see tomorrow in qualifying and the most important thing is to make sure we look after the softer compounds in the race.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
The long runs were definitely more promising today but there’s still a lot of work to do. Both sessions were quite tough and I’m not feeling fully comfortable with the car on the softer compound yet. We need to analyse the data tonight to try and get the pace back to where we would expect it to be, ready for qualifying tomorrow. We seemed to be quite far away from the balance with the low fuel but we corrected that quite quickly, we were also seeing less degradation on these tyres too which is good. It’s good to see Pirelli bringing a new tyre to test this weekend before we use them at Silverstone. Overall, I learnt a lot from today and it’s great to see all of the fans here at the Red Bull Ring and hopefully we can have a good qualifying tomorrow and a solid race on Sunday.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I was playing catch-up a little bit today, having missed FP2 last time out and obviously the race, so we spent time working on our long-runs and trying to understand the tyres. I think there were a lot of positives today and the pace is still there. However, we were slightly struggling in these different conditions, so we have a few things to look at tonight with the engineers and then we can make some changes for tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
We’ve had a decent day and are happy that we’ve maintained the pace from last week. We have worked hard on our longer running, as that was something we found we struggled with during the race, and I think this has been really positive. They weren’t the easiest conditions out there, the circuit is much colder this week and then we had some rain towards the end of FP2. My main objective today was to gather as much data as possible ahead of Qualifying and the race, by slowly building up my lap times and I’ve achieved that without making any mistakes, so I’m pleased with that.

Published on