Aside from the yellow flags for Haas driver Romain Grosjean in Q3, the Finn also felt he was impeded by Renault's Jolyon Palmer in Q1, which led to him switching from supersofts to ultrasofts for an unplanned second run.
"The auto was getting better and better and the grip was coming up".
"We weren't quite quick enough on the first run but the auto was really phenomenal, so it was a shame the second turned out to be an anti-climax".
He said: "I have been training, keeping my head down, staying focused and staying quiet and making sure I came here healthy and strong so we can fight. The balance of the auto feels good and we'll fine tune the set-up tonight for qualifying". At this stage I am far happier taking a big chunk on the "certain" things like Vettel to finish in the points, can lightning strike twice?
"The team is in good spirits and we're all up for another exciting fight with the Ferraris this weekend".
Lewis Hamilton starts in eighth place.
"Firstly congratulations to Valtteri".
"Congratulations to Valtteri and to Sebastian", he said. I am happy to have been third.
"It was another good Friday today and we seemed to be relatively competitive", he said. "Honestly I really don't feel that there is tension here", Hamilton told reporters. It is generally a slower tyre than what they [the rest of the top-ten] are on but it can maybe go longer.
"You can never predict qualifying but it was reasonable".
Verstappen, fourth fastest in P2, said his tires were "all over the place" in the afternoon.
"I tried a lot of different lines at turn three and all the time I was losing the rear of the auto".
"It has been a pretty good day at the track, pretty good from the get-go". You just try to get as high as possible and then when it comes to the race it's about damage limitation so I'll try to minimise the damage. Carlos Sainz was tenth for Toro Rosso.
Hulkenberg was only five thousandths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso's spec-2 engined McLaren-Honda, which failed to improve during its second run. He will provisionally line-up in 15th.
Williams' miserable weekend in Spielberg continued as both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll were eliminated in Q1, finishing 17th and 18th as the new updates for the FW40 vehicle continued to cause headaches.
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