Verstappen: Red Bull 'not too far off' Mercedes

By on Friday, July 29, 2016
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Max Verstappen feels Red Bull is "not too far off" Mercedes in terms of long-run pace following Friday's practice sessions for the German Grand Prix.

Verstappen clocked the fourth best time at Hockenheim, albeit eight-tenths of a second adrift of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who led the way in both sessions.

Verstappen is nonetheless optimistic that, despite trailing Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel across one-lap, Red Bull has the pace to fight Mercedes.

"A good start to the day and weekend in general," he said.

"The first session I was learning the lap with the car, we had a bit of front locking that we will hopefully get rid of tomorrow.

"The second session was good, definite progress from the first as I continued to learn the track and get used to the car here.

"Everyone knows this track is quite hard on the tyres so no real surprises there.

"We are not too far off Mercedes, we are matching Ferrari and the long runs were all pretty positive."

Daniel Ricciardo, who was fifth quickest, echoed Verstappen's sentiments.

"We looked quite close to the Mercedes on high fuel so that was promising," he said.

"This afternoon’s race stint looked really good so if we can replicate what we did then on Sunday I think we can have a strong chance in the race."

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