Max Verstappen is unsure whether he and his team have enough pace to beat “very quick” Mercedes in Sunday’s race.
The Red Bull driver qualified in P3, behind the Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and will start in P2 due to the latter’s grid penalty.
However, he’s not optimistic about his chances of beating Hamilton and taking his second straight win.
“Well, we’ll try, but it’s going to be hard, Mercedes is very quick around here,” Verstappen said after the race.
“Qualifying was pretty decent. I think we gave it our all which just wasn’t enough, but I’m still very pleased with third around here. It was good, just not good enough compared to Mercedes.
“We’ll try [to beat Mercedes]. I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but we’re going to give it a good try as a team, put them under pressure and see what happens.”
Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon meanwhile qualified P6 and will start in P5 tomorrow, and he believes he and his team have the pace to fight the two Ferraris just ahead of him at the least.
“It was okay, but I wish there was a bit more than that,” the Thai driver said about his Saturday performance.
“I just struggled a bit from Q1 onwards, just didn’t get the feel with the car, didn’t get the most out it.
“Looking on to tomorrow now, the pace looks okay actually. Mercedes look quite quick in the races but I think we can give the Ferraris a run for their money.”
Verstappen and Albon are fighting for P3 and P6 in the Drivers Standings respectively, and both are starting the race ahead of their competitors for those positions.
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