Max Verstappen topped the timesheets in FP1 and finished below both the Mercedes in FP2 said that their competitors look quicker on the softer compound of tires introduced this weekend.

Verstappen was satisfied with the car’s long-run pace but feels like they still need to find some pace. He also said that he felt like his run on the soft tires was not ideal and could find some time there but work on the car was still needed.

“There aren’t really any problems, so we just have to make sure we find some more speed on the softs because I think we look good on the mediums and also in the long runs it looks good, and that is ultimately the most important,” said Verstappen.

Mercedes were the quickest in FP2 and seemed quick on the soft tire compound, Verstappen has reacted to this: “Mercedes seem very fast on the soft tyre. For our part, the run on the soft tyre was not perfect, nevertheless I felt good in the car, and everything feels quite good.”

Qualifying, which is set to take place on Saturday, is expected to be exciting as Mercedes could play around with tire strategy if they are quicker than Redbull on the soft compound. Verstappen agrees as he feels like tire management for the softer compounds will be key in winning the Styrian GP for this weekend.

“It will be exciting, Mercedes has become stronger, we will see it during qualifying tomorrow. The most important thing is to make the softer compounds last during the race, that will be a challenge.”

I’m an Indian who aspires to be a motorsports journalist. My involved interest in motorsports, especially in the Formula series, is driven by the stakes and need for perfection required on and off track.