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Max Verstappen

Verstappen admits Red Bull have 'work to do' to get on terms with Ferrari

Despite finishing P2 on the timesheets in both of Friday's practice sessions in Saudi Arabia, Max Verstappen feels that there is still room for improvement at Red Bull.

Verstappen Saudi
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Max Verstappen believes that Red Bull have "work to do" if they are to catch up to Ferrari at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It looked to be a solid opening day of the weekend for the Milton Keynes-based outfit, with Verstappen clocking the second fastest time in each of Friday's practice sessions. The team were also able to work on their long-run pace in FP2.

Verstappen was happy with what was achieved during their running, but also remains wary of the gap to Ferrari, given that Charles Leclerc topped the timings for both practice hours.

"The sessions ran quite smoothly today, we completed our programme and tried out lots of different tyre sets," Verstappen said at the end of Friday.

"It seems like Ferrari were quite competitive again; we still have a little bit of work to do to catch up with them, and there's plenty of room for improvement."

Verstappen: Track changes haven't made a "noticeable impact"

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit has undergone some changes since last year's inaugural F1 event, which has included widening the track in some areas.

However, Verstappen does not feel that the alterations have made a drastic difference.

"The track feels pretty much the same as last year; the barriers have moved slightly and in terms of visibility, it hasn't made a noticeable impact," the Dutchman explained.

"Looking ahead to qualifying, we still need to look at some data. We'll see how it all goes tomorrow."

Perez hit by traffic problems in Friday practice

Meanwhile, Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez, is in agreement that the team have some more work to do, and thinks that his own running on Friday was impacted by traffic on the circuit.

"We ran both cars on different programmes, and I think we got the data we needed, so now we have some work to do tonight," Perez stated.

"It was difficult to get the lap in I needed to see exactly how we will perform over one lap here, because I had a lot of traffic out there."

Like Verstappen, Perez is viewing Ferrari as the team's closest rivals this weekend.

"I think it could be another straight shootout with Ferrari on Saturday, but at the moment we are focusing on ourselves and hopefully tomorrow we are able to make the steps we'd like with the car," the Mexican added.

"It will be important in qualifying to make sure we get the space for a clean lap, because traffic can be a bit difficult around here, so we need to make sure we are on it."

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