WHAT WE LEARNED FROM FP1 AND FP2
- The FP2 session in Austria was interrupted by two red flags following accidents for Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): the Red Bull Ring is proving to be as unforgiving as ever, requiring maximum precision.
- No graining was detected either in FP1 or FP2 on any of the compounds.
- The battle at the top is finely poised, with Mercedes and Ferrari claiming a session each today, on each occasion with the soft compound.
- Track temperatures were among the highest seen all year, peaking at 55 degrees centigrade on track and 34 degrees ambient in the afternoon. Similar weather is expected over the rest of the weekend, which could be the hottest of the entire season.
- The famous 'sausage kerbs' are still a hazard if going off-line: Renault's Nico Hulkenberg broke his front wing after hitting one in FP1, bringing out another red flag.
- On such a short track and fast lap, there is currently a performance gap of 0.7s per lap between soft and medium, and 0.5s between medium and hard.
- For the same reason, the gaps in the overall classification are very close, with the top 13 in FP2 covered by less than a second.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
"Today we had some of the hottest track temperatures we've experienced in Formula 1, peaking at 55 degrees centigrade, with similar weather expected for the remainder of the weekend. Despite these very punishing conditions, the tyres experienced no issues. It was a tricky day driving-wise with changing winds in FP2, and both FP1 and FP2 being interrupted by red flags. This underlines the usual difficulty of this circuit, enhanced by the closeness of the competition here, making every small advantage in terms of set-up and strategy crucial. The teams will be looking to make up for lost time during FP3 tomorrow, before heading into what is likely to be an extremely close qualifying session in the afternoon."