Friday practice report from the Austrian Grand Prix
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: With a second weekend at the same venue, we were able to do some tests that would normally struggle to justify a place on a busy Friday programme. We looked at a few different set-up avenues, which have produced some interesting results. We also took the time to complete some high-quality testing of the new rear tyres, which will be introduced at the next event in Silverstone.
All three drivers had trouble-free sessions and were able to complete their programmes successfully. Roy provided some very useful feedback, and having had two FP1 sessions within a few weeks, was able to provide some clear guidance over how the car is feeling here at the Red Bull Ring.
The tyre behaviour is similar to last week and the softer C5 compound, which we have this weekend as the Soft tyre, was working quite well straightaway. There is a bit more to come from fully optimising the outlap and driving style, but we are not too far away and will finalise our approach tomorrow morning.
George Russell: It can sometimes be tough missing a practice session, but there are only seven real corners here and we did plenty of running last week, so if you’re going to miss FP1 then this is the track to do it at. Our main focus from today was getting some mileage on the new tyres that are coming in Silverstone and, even with a bit of rain, I think we’re all feeling like we got a good read on those. In terms of qualifying and race preparations, the pace looked ok, but things often change slightly come Saturday afternoon. As always, the goal tomorrow is to qualify as high as possible. Q2 is the minimum we’re hoping for, but we’ll wait and see what the day brings.
Nicholas Latifi: It was a very busy Friday in Austria, trying to fit in the two extra sets of tyres in what is already packed hour sessions. However, it was very valuable to gather the information as these are the tyres that we will be using from Silverstone onwards. Overall, today was a tale of two sessions, with different feelings between FP1 and FP2. The first practice session felt much better compared to the second, so we have to understand why that is as we made minimal changes. That is what we are going to go through now, to ensure we end today on a positive note.
Roy Nissany: Today was great, it definitely felt like one of the most productive sessions I’ve done for the team and the pace felt strong. I love this track having driven here so often and in lots of different categories, but going through the fast section in the FW43B was the best feeling yet. We gathered a lot of data which we’ll spend the evening analysing and learning from, so I’m feeling really happy with today.