Sebastian Vettel had a troubled Friday at the Red Bull Ring, with separate gearbox issues affecting both sessions, but the Scuderia Ferrari driver ended the day at the top of the timing screens.
The German driver stopped on track in FP1 and ended the session twentieth and last, and then spent a long time in the garage in the second session after suffering more problems, but not before he set a time of 1m09.600s that saw him beat morning pace setter Nico Rosberg by 0.011s.
“In the afternoon session we had a problem with the gearbox as one of the sensors went to the alert mode and we had to slow down,” revealed Vettel. “Obviously now we’ll have to take a close look at it: we don’t know what’s the problem yet, but it seems to be unrelated to the one we had this morning.
“It’s always better if it happens in free practice rather than in qualifying or in the race, but we have to look into it and make sure it’s not happening again.
“In terms of feeling with the track, the lap is short and you just need to get into the rhythm. Unfortunately we didn’t get as many laps as we wanted, but that’s what it is.
“Overall the pace looks fine, we’ve taken a lot of information from this session, which is good. We know that we have a good car and we think we are competitive, let’s see what’s happening overnight.
“We have to make sure that we stay with Mercedes as much as we can, it should be an interesting qualifying tomorrow.”