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Verstappen admits Red Bull have 'work to do' in Ferrari battle

After being beaten by Ferrari during the opening practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has revealed his expectations for what Red Bull can achieve over the remainder of the weekend.

Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull still have "work to do" to close the gap to Ferrari after the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. The Dutchman finished behind both of the Scuderia's drivers in Free Practice 1 on Friday, with Carlos Sainz topping the timesheets ahead of Charles Leclerc. Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez, claimed P3, putting Verstappen in fourth. Leclerc led the way in the second practice session of the day, but Verstappen edged a little closer this time, having finished the hour in P2. Verstappen admits that he was happy with how he was able to improve. "I had a car in front of me on my final lap, so that didn't help," Verstappen told the F1 TV cameras. "But I think [in] FP1 and the beginning of FP2 we were lacking a bit of balance. Then I think for the final run, we changed the car around a bit and I felt a lot happier."

Verstappen expects Red Bull to close gap to Ferrari

Despite being behind Leclerc in both sessions, Verstappen is hopeful that Red Bull can edge closer to their rivals throughout the weekend. "We're a tiny bit off Ferrari, but I do think that we can maybe make it a little bit closer," the 2021 World Champion explained. "They're quick again, but in the long run [for us] everything looked quite stable and quite nice, so I'm happy about that. So we definitely made some good improvements today." After making some adjustments during Friday, Verstappen believes that there may be more to come for Saturday. "It was necessary [to make those improvements], because in the beginning it was a bit tricky out there," he said. "But we're [going] in a good direction, so we just try to build from there and hopefully we can make some tiny adjustments also for tomorrow." With Red Bull and Ferrari again leading the pack during Friday's running, Verstappen expects this battle to continue during the remainder of the weekend at Albert Park. The Dutchman added: "Of course you never know [what will happen] tomorrow, but so far, they seem again very strong. "We've still got a bit of work to do, but we are more or less there."

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