Verstappen expecting close battle with Mercedes

Date published: August 31 2019

Max Verstappen PA

Max Verstappen says he expects to be fighting the Mercedes cars at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, but believes Ferrari are too quick.

The Dutchman qualified in P5, two tenths slower than Valtteri Bottas and a full second behind pole-sitter Charles Leclerc.

“I think Ferrari is just really faster this weekend,” Verstappen said to Ziggo Sport.

“We are in a good position compared to Mercedes. Certainly, with the problems we had this morning, we are close, so I expect that we can compete with them.”

Red Bull have generally enjoyed improved engine performance since switching from Renault to Honda, but have had issues this weekend.

“We have had problems throughout the weekend that if we want more power, it won’t work. That’s a shame on a circuit where you need it,” Verstappen added.

Alex Albon meanwhile will start from the back of the grid due to engine penalties but says he’s still aiming for points in his first race for Red Bull.

“It was a shame for the red flags as I wanted more experience, but it was still good fun,” Albon said to Formula1.com.

“Starting from the back, you want to be higher up but we’ll see, obviously points are the main aim.”

“There are some cars like the Racing Point that are pretty quick on the straights, so I think they’ll be pretty hard to overtake, but we’ll see.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.