On paper, Mercedes blew everyone away in Free Practice 2 in Melbourne, finishing the session eight tenths clear of their nearest rival, the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. But speaking after Friday’s running, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner seemed content with his team’s work nonetheless – while he also issued a warning shot that Mercedes’ W10 car, while clearly fast, looked like a tough beast to handle.
Asked about Red Bull’s pace on Friday compared to Mercedes and Ferrari – with the team running their Honda power units in anger for the first time – Horner replied: “Long runs we look pretty sensible. I think the one-lap pace of the Mercedes in [FP2] looked pretty impressive. But the car looks stiff and difficult to drive, so whether that's sustainable for a Grand Prix, I don't know.
“Ferrari looked like they under-delivered to what we thought they had in testing, and our guys both had pretty decent runs. Max got quite a bit of traffic on his fast laps but I think there's more potential there, there's more set-up changes. We don't know what fuel loads people are running, but it looks interesting.”