It looks set to be another close battle between Mercedes and Red Bull in Portugal this weekend on the basis of the two Friday practice sessions.
Max Verstappen finished P2 in both of them as Bottas and Hamilton topped the two sessions respectively.
Despite been right in the mix with the Mercedes drivers, Verstappen admitted he didn’t enjoy driving the circuit because the tarmac was super slippery and that the tyres aren’t helping either.
“Yeah, it was alright, just very tricky out there with the tarmac again. It’s super slippery. I know it’s the same for everyone but it’s not really enjoyable to drive,’’ said the winner of the last race at Imola.
“And of course, the tyres have changed and of course we’ve lost a bit of grip from the car compared to last year but yeah, it’s very tricky out there and it’s a shame. Because it’s all about tyre prep, tyre temperature, and it shouldn’t be like that, but like I said before, it’s the same for everyone.”
After qualifying in a career-best 2nd place at Imola two weeks ago, Sergio Perez was left to rue a costly spin during the race.
The Mexican driver fully believes he and the team can fight for pole position on Saturday afternoon. He was blocked by Nikita Mazepin on his qualifying simulation in FP2, but the 31-year-old but believes work needs to be done for the team to get the best out of the soft tyre.
“I think we have pretty good pace so definitely we should be in the mix tomorrow to fight for pole,” he said.
“It’s pretty hard, you know, getting the tyres to work in these conditions is not easy so I think the main focus will be to understand what’s going on with the tyres. I think the pace with the mediums was good, but when we went on to the softs we didn’t find any laptime, which we have to analyse what went wrong on that set and yeah, hopefully sort it out for qualifying.”