Sebastian Vettel is not convinced the results of Friday practice for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix provided a clear picture for how this weekend’s competitive order will pan out.

Ferrari ended the opening day of running fastest in Austria, with Charles Leclerc topping a truncated and incident-filled second practice session by three-tenths of a second over Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who caused one of two red flag stoppages when he crashed hard at Turn 6.

Despite the encouraging pace shown by Ferrari, Vettel is remaining grounded about the Scuderia’s chances heading into qualifying.

“In practice it always looks a bit stronger for us than qualifying and the race so we need to be cautious,” Vettel said.

“We are still trying a lot of things to try and get closer. Hopefully tomorrow we can get a good feel and do better than today.”

And Vettel played down his off at the final corner, despite missing out on a qualifying run as a result.

“Not so much [impact],” he explained. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get the run on the softs, the long run, but apart from that, no further impact, the car was fine.”

Ferrari is looking to end Mercedes 100 percent winning start to the 2019 season, but like his teammate Vettel, Leclerc is cautious about reading too much into the practice times.

“I think they [Mercedes] are still very, very quick, so it’s going to be very difficult when they put everything together,” Leclerc added.

"Today the car felt good on our side, so I’m pretty happy. The windy and the conditions in general were quite difficult but I think we made the best out of it, and hopefully we will do the same tomorrow.”

 

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