British GP: Only Mercedes faster than Toro Rosso - Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen believes his Toro Rosso Formula 1 team is second quickest in terms of race pace behind Mercedes based on its performance in British Grand Prix Friday practice

British GP: Only Mercedes faster than Toro Rosso - Max Verstappen

Analysis by AUTOSPORT of Toro Rosso's long-run pace in the second Silverstone practice session gives credence to Verstappen's claim.

The Dutchman finished seventh with team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr ninth as the team also showed promising one-lap pace.

"Only Mercedes was a bit faster," said Verstappen when asked by AUTOSPORT about Toro Rosso's race pace.

"I think the long run was very good.

"I was very happy with the long run. I had the Mercedes in front of me and he was not pulling away a lot.

"In general, the car balance was very good and I think we can be very strong in the race.

"So I think it was a good day, especially on a difficult track to learn.

"I'm happy with my progress, especially as I didn't run much in FP1 because of a flat-spot I got."

Sainz was more cautious about the car's race pace around Silverstone.

"We need to be careful because on Friday, you don't know what can happen," said the Spaniard.

"In Barcelona, we were quite good on long runs on Friday and then we arrived in the race and we were not good at all.

"We are maybe a bit better than normal even though the tyres are difficult to use.

"You either have a lot of front-left graining or rear-left degradation so that is what you want to assess where to go in the race."

Both drivers predicted a strong qualifying, suggesting seventh and eighth was a realistic target.

"In Spain, we were P5 and P6 because Williams and Ferrari made a mistake in qualifying," said Sainz.

"Under normal conditions we would have been P7 and P8.

"If tomorrow we have the best day possible, it should be our target but first we have to focus to get into Q3."

Verstappen added: "One-lap pace was good and I think we can be quite strong.

"Fifth or sixth is optimistic but seventh or eighth should be our target and I think that's realistic."

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