McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz played down their Friday practice pace in Portugal after both classified in the top five.
Friday’s second session at the Algarve Circuit featured 30 minutes of running on Pirelli’s 2021 prototype tyres before two lengthy stoppages disrupted proceedings.
In the closing stages Norris moved up to third spot, behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while Sainz finished fifth.
“P3 in practice doesn’t mean anything, but it gives us a little bit of confidence, but before everyone did a Soft run we were still quite a long way off,” said Norris.
“We have a lot of work to do tomorrow and hopefully we can be a little bit confident and do a better job.
“For some reason the track grip in general is very bad, very poor. This new tarmac has not been run on that much, and there were cars all over the place.
“I’m sure every driver will say that it needs use, but it made our life very tricky to get a good balance and find confidence in the car.”
Sainz added that his position was “not very realistic because as you see a lot of people do not put their laps together.
“Everyone is struggling out there with the grip, and the Pirelli test going on, so it is going to be an interesting day tomorrow. I feel like we know very little.”