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Verstappen Uncertain of Red Bull’s Chances to Fight for Wins at Start of Season

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Max Verstappen has spoken out and believes Red Bull Racing’s newest creation, the RB13, isn’t quick enough to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari once they take to the grid for the Australian Grand Prix next Sunday.

Preseason testing showcased the Milton Keynes-based squad underwhelming, still contending around fourth overall on speed, but considerably behind its rivals.

“We still have to wait and see how good we really are,” Verstappen told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf.

“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.”

The 19-year-old Belgian agrees with teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who recently tabbed Ferrari as the main outfit to challenge Mercedes.

“Ferrari have been fast in previous years as well,” he said. However, this year you could tell they’ve made quite a step forward from last year – they will certainly fight for wins.

“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. 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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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.