Max Verstappen believes the Red Bull team need to extract more from their car after falling behind Ferrari and Mercedes in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The reigning World Champion is hoping more pace can be found in his RB18 as he ended Friday practice in fifth place.
The Dutchman's time of 1:20.006 was over three-tenths of a second away from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who topped both practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Speaking after second practice, Verstappen said that whilst he was content with his pace on the longer runs, he would like to see more in qualifying trim.
"It has been tricky to find the right balance, with the heat as well," Verstappen told media.
"We clearly still have a bit of work to do over one lap, but the long runs look quite decent, so I'm happy with that. It's just trying to find a middle ground."
When asked about the upturn in performance from Mercedes, Verstappen responded; "Yeah, I can see where we are [in the lap charts], so that's why we have to work a bit on the one lap pace."
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Verstappen wary of tyre life in the Barcelona heat
Red Bull's practice pace deficit was underlined by Sergio Perez also falling behind the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers, albeit with the Mexican only running in one session after handing his car over to Juri Vips for one of the mandatory young driver outings.
A clear afternoon of running for Perez might have been crucial for Red Bull to understand the hot conditions facing them this weekend.
Verstappen added that he struggled with the balance of the car due to the demanding nature of the circuit on tyres.
"It's tough on the tyres around here," added Verstappen.
"We are not on top of that yet in terms of balance. At least we know that the weather is going to be consistent, so we can just work from here."
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