Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in opening practice in Austria, and then followed that up with the second best time in the second session, but feels Ferrari will give him and his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team a close battle this weekend.
The German driver set a best time of 1m10.401s to beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton in FP1 at the Red Bull Ring, but lost out to the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel by just 0.011s in FP2, with Rosberg feeling that he will have to work hard to find the pace to keep both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen (who finished third in both sessions) behind him during qualifying on Saturday.
“In general it was a decent practice day for me,” said Rosberg. “It’s a challenge to nail the set-up for this track – but I felt comfortable in the car.
“The red cars are very strong here. They had very impressive pace – on higher fuel levels as well as low. They are our closest rivals, I think, but on this short track the lap times are quicker and all the cars are closer together.
“We will definitely need to work hard to find a few tenths for tomorrow.”