Verstappen says broken front wing masked Red Bull potential on day 1

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red

For a team that's won the last two races in Austria and are tipped as the biggest challengers to Mercedes' crown in 2020, Red Bull’s anonymity in comparison to the Silver Arrows was striking on Friday as F1 returned after a 126-day break.

Max Verstappen could only manage P8 in FP2, while team mate Alex Albon was 13th. But there was no concern on Verstappen's side, quite the opposite in fact as he explained what had happened.

In setting his fastest lap of FP2 – eventually 0.911s slower than Hamilton’s table-topping time – Verstappen managed to inadvertently hamper the rest of his session.

READ MORE: FP1: Mercedes return with 1-2 as Hamilton tops first practice session of 2020 in Austria

“I broke my [front] wing in the fast- in the short run, so we put another wing on and I think we were a bit too aggressive with that and I had a little moment," he explained.

Max Verstappen: 'You get quite easily back into the rhythm'

Regardless, it was a “positive” day for the 2018 and ’19 Austrian Grand Prix winner, who said that his final time on Friday was not representative of Red Bull’s true performance.

READ MORE: Horner hints Red Bull are ready to run their own version of Mercedes' DAS steering system

“I think a few laps and you get quite easily back into the rhythm. So yeah it was overall quite a positive day, we did a lot of laps [41 laps in FP2] I think that’s the most important.

"Lap times, they don’t really say anything because I broke my front wing on my fastest lap," he added. "We’re confident. There are things you can always do better but overall, it was a good day and looking forward to tomorrow."

Austria FP2: Verstappen rumbles over gravel

READ MORE: Horner says Red Bull better prepared for 2020 than any other year in hybrid era

Both Verstappen and team mate Alex Albon had off-track moments on day 1, with the latter spinning at Turn 1. “[I was] just pushing," said the British-born Thai. "Obviously in race runs, the car gets a bit more lairy so I probably pushed the entry a little bit and had a bit more oversteer."

Red Bull will be hoping to be a lot closer to the front on Saturday, when lap times really do count.

Austria FP2: Three spins as Turn 1 proves tricky

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TREMAYNE: How a teenage Verstappen reigned in Spain and rewrote the record books with Red Bull