Verstappen under no illusion about RB13 pace

Date published: March 30 2017

Max Verstappen was not disappointment by Red Bull’s performance in the Australian Grand Prix, after all he was never under “any illusion” as to his RB13’s pace.

The Dutchman qualified fifth around the Albert Park circuit on Saturday, 1.3s shy of Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting time.

He matched that result in Sunday’s grand prix, P5 on the day, almost 30s behind race winner Sebastian Vettel.

His run of P5s continued with the list of fastest laps with Verstappen posting a 1:26.964 to Kimi Raikkonen’s 1:26.538.

Overall it was a race weekend in which Red Bull fell short of Ferrari and Mercedes.

“To be honest I’m not disappointed because from day one I never made any illusions,” Verstappen said in Melbourne. “I was not dreaming of becoming even better because you never know.

“I went into the season very neutral and then as soon as we started testing I could see that we didn’t have the pace, so for me it was very clear that we weren’t going to be that competitive in the beginning of the year.

“So it’s not like I’m really disappointed now, because I could see it coming.”

Asked about whether Red Bull’s inability to fight the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers was because they had lost their trick suspension system, he replied: “I don’t think it’s anything suspension related.

“We just need to look into everything and try and improve everything… We are behind. Lacking grip, lacking power, it’s a bit of both.

“We have to work on the car, we need more downforce, we need more grip. At the moment we don’t have it but for sure at the factory we will work hard.”

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