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Verstappen: We're not good enough yet

NEWS STORY
19/03/2017

Max Verstappen has played down hopes of Red Bull challenging Mercedes and Ferrari in the early stages of the season, believing that both have yet to fully show their hand.

On the face of it, while Mercedes still has clear superiority in terms of reliability, Barcelona pace-setters Ferrari appear to have made a significant step forward in that department also. On the other hand, Red Bull, as well as not being on the pace of its two main rivals - indeed, under pressure from Williams, Toro Rosso and Renault - was also lacking in reliability, the Austrian team suffering a number of niggles during testing.

However, talking to De Telegraaf, as well as claiming that both Mercedes and Ferrari were sandbagging in Spain, Verstappen suggests that despite a slow start to the year Red Bull will build its challenge as the season progresses.

"We still have to wait and see how good we really are," he admitted. "Personally, I don't think we can fight for the win at the moment. Much can change during the course of the season, but we are not good enough yet to win."

As in 2016, Ferrari left Barcelona as pace-setters, but it is the improved reliability also which has worried rivals.

"Ferrari has been fast in previous years as well," said the teenager ahead of his first full season with Red Bull. "However, this year you could tell they've made quite a step forward from last year and they will certainly fight for wins."

Taking to his personal website, he wrote: "Mercedes will always be right there, I think they probably sandbagged a bit. It's been that way for the last couple of years.

"For us, it is hard to tell where we are," he admits. "I don't think we are the best team yet, but we will have to wait and see. After qualifying in Australia, we will know our pure performance. We won't be going there with the idea we can go for pole.

"At the moment, I think both Ferrari and Mercedes will be in front of us, but hopefully we will be able to get into a rhythm, just like last year. We can do better this year, but we need to work hard in order to get there."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 20/03/2017 8:06

"Speculation about speculation. When he retires, there's a job for Max on the Today Programme."

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