Alexander Albon is happy with how his Red Bull auto is handling at this weekend's British Grand Prix despite crashing out of second practice.
The German, who was only called up to drive this weekend on Thursday afternoon following Perez's positive coronavirus test, finished ninth in his first appearance in the Racing Point auto.
On a hot and sunny day at Silverstone that was as crowdless as it was cloudless, with Sunday's race the latest to be held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Verstappen lapped with a best time of one minute 27.422 seconds.
Max Verstappen topped FP1 before Albon - who was fourth in the first session - was second quickest in FP2 when he lost control at Stowe and hit the barrier backwards.
"We will keep working but overall the auto looked and felt better today".
"I got blocked on my fast lap and then moved on to race runs, so I don't have a proper time on the board for FP2 but in the end that doesn't matter on a Friday and it wasn't a bad day for us", Verstappen commented.
Verstappen set the pace in the morning session by a comfortable margin of nearly half a second over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
"Obviously, I'm sure the Mercedes' are hiding quite a lot, so we'll watch them tomorrow, but otherwise I think as a vehicle it feels well balanced".
Mercedes have won all three races so far this year.
"I think we've definitely made a step", he added.
Racing Point have modelled their machines on last season's championship-winning Mercedes, and in the absence of team leader Sergio Perez following his positive coronavirus test, Stroll took on the baton for the Silverstone-based team. The balance is not as good as I'd like.
Leclerc's team mate Sebastian Vettel was sidelined for most of the session after Ferrari detected something wrong with his car's intercooler system and chose to strip it down to be ready for the second session. "We will figure it out so it is not a disaster, but it has been a hard day".
Hulkenberg, back for what may be two races, looked like he'd never been away after lapping ninth and seventh fastest respectively for a team whose auto is subject to an ongoing protest over its legality.
"It's been a special, insane and wild 24 hours, but it's all worth it", said the German driver. I thought I caught it and then I just got sent into a tank slapper. "Seat fitted until 2am tonight, 8am this morning into the simulator for an hour... so it was a short night but all worthwhile".
Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi brought out red flags at the half hour mark after spinning at the exit to Becketts, leaving debris across the track.
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