Andrea Stella says Friday at the Red Bull Ring was productive for the McLaren F1 Team, with Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris ending inside the top ten in the afternoon session.
Neither Ricciardo nor Norris finished inside the top ten in the morning, with the Australian ending twelfth and the Briton sixteenth, although both were within one-second of the fastest time of the session set by Max Verstappen.
Changes to both cars in-between sessions saw a dramatic improvement, with Ricciardo setting the second-best time of the day with a 1:05.748, with Verstappen the only driver ahead of him. Norris also improved to eight, just over two-tenths of a second behind his team-mate.
Stella, the Executive Director of Racing at McLaren, says the work the team was able to get a lot of work done despite the threat of rain in the area, and it appears the MCL35M appears to be competitive this weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
He hopes the team can find even more speed overnight ahead of final practice, with Qualifying on Saturday afternoon likely to be extremely close from front to back.
“It’s been a productive Friday,” said Stella. “Despite there being rain around, it didn’t affect the programme and we could go through our run plan.
“That revolved around set-up work, some aerodynamic tests and, of course, understanding the tyres in preparation for the race – we saw in France what a difference tyre degradation can make. Overall, the car seemed reasonably competitive.
“We’ll keep an eye on the weather – which remains unsettled – but we’re looking forward to qualifying and the race.”