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Rosberg amazed by Verstappen's pace: We don't know where it's come from

Nico Rosberg has given his thoughts on how the battle between Red Bull and Ferrari is shaping up at this weekend's French Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg shared his surprise at the pace set by Max Verstappen during final practice for the French Grand Prix, as he bounced back from a low-key Friday. Verstappen and Red Bull ended the first day of free practice at the Circuit Paul Ricard half a second adrift of Ferrari pair Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. However, having regrouped overnight, they displayed much stronger pace in FP3, with Verstappen turning the tables on his championship rivals. After their Soft tyre runs were completed, the Dutchman sat three-tenths clear of Sainz, with Leclerc three-tenths further back.

Rosberg: We don't know who will be on pole!

Asked for his take on the title race and how this weekend's action is playing out, Rosberg expressed his delight at the ebbing and flowing nature of the battle. "I think Ferrari still have the edge over Red Bull – we saw that yesterday [when] they were very dominant," he told Sky Sports F1 . "Of course, now we just saw a bit of a reversal out there with suddenly Max going really fast. We don't really know where that's coming from. "But that's great again, because, as always, it leaves us guessing for qualifying. We just do not know who is going to be on pole and that's [what's] so fantastic about this title race at the moment."

Do Red Bull or Ferrari have the advantage?

Rosberg was then asked about the impressive straight-line speed displayed by Red Bull relative to Ferrari so far this weekend. "We just need to see what they do now for qualifying, but certainly there is a big difference out there," added the 2016 World Champion. "That might be a reason why Verstappen seemed to be so much quicker in race pace yesterday, because if you have lower downforce, you go quicker on the straights and you put less energy in the tyres, because you have less grip in the high-speed corners. "That could reduce Verstappen's tyre wear, and then Leclerc, with the higher downforce in the corners, is putting so much more energy in the tyres, using the tyres much more. "That might be a reason why Leclerc had such huge degradation yesterday as he was practicing for the race."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying