Defending champion Lewis Hamilton steered his Mercedes to the best time for both of Friday's dry practice sessions, as drivers got their first chance to run on Paul Ricard Circuit with Formula One returning to France after a 10-year absence.
"It's great that we are close in qualifying nowadays but positioning is everything, really.
I was struggling a bit with the front grip which didn't make it easy, but we still qualified in fourth", said Verstappen. We're all on the edge, we're fighting for world championships, we're not pootling around, we're out there putting our lives on the line, we're out there putting the cars as far beyond the edge as we can in the safest manner. Mercedes are unbeaten at the Red Bull Ring since the venue returned to the calendar four years ago, with Hamilton winning in 2016.
"Honestly, it's not acceptable.
I'm too old for that nonsense", Vettel said.
"That said, I have scored points in every single race I have finished, and hopefully tomorrow will be one of those Sundays".
"I think what you saw in Montreal in comparison to Le Castellet is that marginal gains matter", he said. Once their cars were fixed, Vettel charged through the field from P17 and produced some entertaining moves to finally finish fifth; as for Bottas, his progress was hampered due to floor damage and could only manage seventh place.
"On top of that I grew up playing football, something I was massively into but had to stop as I was in the teenage phase when hacking was insane and didn't want to get injured and not race. And then I had no grip and lost the auto", he added.
Raikkonen himself did little to dampen the speculation on track, lapping over a second shy of Hamilton and in excess of half a second behind Vettel.
"We have identified the problem on Valtteri's auto, and we have not seen yet the Perez vehicle and got any conclusions, so I can't give any answers on that".
"There wasn't that much that I could have done differently". After eight races, Grosjean still remains one of two drivers who are yet to score points and in Grosjean's case, it is about having a "clean" weekend - one where he avoids the barriers.
Vettel also jumped to Hamilton's defence in Bahrain last April when the Briton was caught insulting Dutch youngster Max Verstappen in the drivers' room before the podium celebrations.
"Jeez, he took him right out", said Hamilton was he was filmed".
- Pete Davidson confirms engagement to Ariana Grande
- #WC2018: Hernandez nets as Mexico sees off South Korea
- Rockets' Harden wins Most Valuable Player Award
- Apple is developing high-end AirPods, two other enhanced audio accessories
- Egypt say Salah to play against Saudis in both sides' final game
- Spain snatches draw with Morocco to top group
- Tearful Neymar is a joyful boy, says Jesus
- Mohamed Salah considering quitting Egypt team over Ramzan Kadyrov row
- Arabs Pressure Abbas to Accept Trump's 'Deal of the Century'
- Cardi B Donates $8000 to Family of Boy Murdered in The Bronx