Ferrari showed they are a major threat to Mercedes dominance in the Austrian GP with Sebastian Vettel topping the timesheets after practice 2 on Friday, which promised to make the qualifying session on Saturday quite interesting.
Mercedes have been better than the rest by some distance this season, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, as expected, dominating the driver's standings as well.
It looks like it will be a duel between the two Mercedes drivers for the title, but Ferrari could throw a spanner in the works with Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen impressing in the practice sessions.
Raikkonen, who finished third in the timesheets, behind Vettel and Rosberg, but ahead of Hamilton, though, knows competing in free practice and doing the same in qualifying and race are two completely different things.
"It has been a good day of work, but it's only Friday and it's difficult to know where we are compared to our opponents, because of the layout of the track here all the cars are closer to each other," Raikkonen told F1's official website. "
"We have to wait and see what happens [in qualifying]. We have to make sure that everything works well, then start from there and do a good job over the weekend."
It will be certainly good for the season if the likes of Ferrari compete with the Mercedes, but if Hamilton and Rosberg have any say in it, the duopoly status quo will be maintained even in the tricky Red Bull Ring in Austria.
"To be honest it wasn't the best of days," Hamilton said. But then it wasn't too bad either. I did some sectors really well, and at others it didn't go so well -- but I pushed very hard. And trust me, if you don't make any mistakes here you're not pushing hard enough.
"Yes, there is room to improve, as we've already done from FP1 to FP2. Ferrari look pretty fast here, yes, but I know that we've got good pace so let's see what we will be able to do [in qualifying] and then in the race."
Another leveller at the Austrian Grand Prix could be the elements with rain predicted over the weekend. "I think that the gap could be diminished a little bit," Hamilton added. "I think that. But I think we are in a good position should it pour down -- I like driving in the wet."
Qualifying Session: 5:30pm IST (1pm BST, 8am ET)
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