There were top ten times in Austrian practice for both Force India drivers, Max Verstappen and Felipe Nasr…
Nico Hulkenberg: "Our afternoon session was a big improvement over the morning: we made some changes to the car that turned out to be positive and allowed us to make the most of the soft tyres, which continue to suit our car well. It was a straightforward Friday, especially as the rain that everyone expected didn't come. I am satisfied with my pace over the long runs, even though I don't have any reference against our rivals just yet: it is something I will need to look at with my engineers tonight. This is a short track so all gaps will be very small in qualifying: one or two tenths can mean a difference of three or four places. It will be crucial to optimise our set-up in final practice to get tomorrow afternoon right."
Sergio Perez: "I’m feeling positive about today's work. We showed good pace in both sessions, even though Nico and I went in different directions when it came to set-up. The track keeps evolving and there was quite a big track improvement between the morning and the afternoon. The main priority was to get good tyre data and with the high number of laps today we have all the information we need."
Max Verstappen: "I think the day started off well. We had some new updates, so we used the first practice to test them and I was quite happy with the session. It was important to complete lots of laps in the morning and we then made the right choice for FP2. The lap times were not too bad on both the soft and supersoft tyres. It’s a shame that I got held up in the last sector on Options, if not I could’ve ended higher up, so I’m happy with today. I also like this track and driving here in an F1 car is even better!"
Carlos Sainz Jr: "A challenging day today. The track is very slippery and there’s not much grip out there, but overall we did a positive job as a team. We split the programme for both cars in order to gather a lot of data in terms of downforce and right now it’s very difficult to judge what will be the best for tomorrow, as one thing works better in the race, another in qualifying… So there’s a lot of analysis to do tonight in order to choose the best option to go with. I have to say that it’s very nice to drive here, it’s an old-school very challenging track and that’s something I like."
Felipe Nasr: "Overall it was a good day. We were quite productive in both sessions when working through our programme. It is positive to see that our pace is quite competitive, and that I have a better feeling with the brakes now in comparison to Montreal. The balance of the car is also satisfying, so I am confident for the weekend."
Marcus Ericsson: "It was a positive practice day for us here in Spielberg. Comparing our performance to Montreal, I think it is promising that we are more competitive here. We tested different set-ups on both cars, therefore, we collected some ineresting data which we are going to analyse tonight."
Daniil Kvyat: "It’s been a relatively normal Friday for us and we know there are a few things we can work on now. If we do our homework overnight, hopefully we can find some improvements for tomorrow. Even with the penalties, we have to keep pushing as anything can happen in the race. This track is not easy for us but we will try our best."
Daniel Ricciardo: "The track conditions were tricky today; I think it was a combination of low temperatures and the smooth surface which made it difficult to generate tyre temperature. We didn’t manage to put it all together for the short runs and I didn’t improve on the option because of a mistake in the last corner. But we’ll get on top of it tomorrow and hopefully get into the top eight on the grid. We were prepared to take the penalty here, so we’ll be starting further back, but hopefully we can have some fun overtaking. We’ve had a tough season so far but everyone is really motivated and determined to keep pushing."