Verstappen believes Red Bull ‘can’t compete’ with Ferrari

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen driving round the Hungaroring. Budapest, July 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen driving round the Hungaroring during the first practice session. Budapest, July 2022.

Max Verstappen has admitted that Red Bull “can’t compete” against Ferrari in the dry after being beaten in both Friday practice sessions.

Carlos Sainz topped FP1 before Charles Leclerc did the same in the afternoon session ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

For Red Bull, it was a difficult day with Verstappen finishing P2 in FP1 before a P4 finish in FP2 behind the two Ferraris and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Sergio Perez meanwhile finished no higher than sixth in either of the opening sessions of the weekend.

Championship leader Verstappen has admitted it will be hard for Red Bull to overcome the pace advantage that Ferrari is enjoying currently.

“I think they are a bit ahead of us and I think it will be hard for us to beat that,” Verstappen said, as reported by

“Overnight we’ll try to close the gap as much as you can and see what the weather will give us as well tomorrow.

“I think in the dry we can’t compete so maybe in the rain we can, who knows.”

The forecast is predicting a 90% chance of rain on Saturday before a dry but cooler day on Sunday, meaning teams are heading into the weekend not knowing exactly how they will perform. Verstappen said Red Bull are struggling to find the right balance.

“A bit tricky as expected around here, just trying to find a bit of a balance from high to low speed,” the Dutchman explained.

“Sometimes it works a bit better, sometimes a bit more tricky. But yeah, bit of work to do.”

Verstappen’s team-mate Perez was a bit more optimistic and explained his sub-par performance as the team trying different things ahead of the weekend.

“It was a day of trying many different bits to definitely get comfortable with the car,” he told “I think we’ve got a good idea, good understanding of the day. So hopefully tomorrow we can be able to show what we’ve learned today and that should also transform into into the high fuel and low fuel pace so fairly optimistic.

“But certainly the Ferrari looked very strong today. They’re definitely very, very fast. Hopefully tomorrow, a bit of rain, so things can be a bit more mixed. But hopefully tomorrow we can be, we can be up there.

“I think there is some good understanding of today’s day and we just have to put everything together for tomorrow.”


Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before Formula 1's summer break.