With a short lap, very few corners and plenty of time spent on full throttle, the Red Bull Ring tends to close up the gaps between the cars, meaning that it's important to get every detail right to make the difference.
This was the case during both free practice sessions, held in cool and cloudy conditions, with similar temperatures predicted for the rest of the weekend.
Following overnight rain, the drivers used only the slick tyres, with all three compounds seen out on track today. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton went fastest on the ultrasoft tyre in the morning session, but with more rubber on the track in the afternoon he was able to beat his benchmark using the soft tyre.
Mario Isola: "The performance gaps between the three compounds here are quite small, as is to be expected on such a short track, where the cars are very close to one another. This means of course that the tiniest detail counts, and the teams have been pushing hard to get the set-up exactly right. The cool conditions and the overnight rain from yesterday have also contributed to quite a high degree of track evolution, with a few drivers going off the line. As is often the case here, some drivers have fallen foul of the kerbs as well. Adapting the cars to the track temperature has been a key part of the work today, in conjunction with the usual assessment of tyres on both high and low fuel loads in these conditions. With everything so finely-balanced, strategy could make an important difference, so the teams will be studying tonight's data particularly carefully."
Check out our Friday gallery from Spielberg, here.