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Max Verstappen

Verstappen keen to avoid repeat red flag-fest

Max Verstappen is hopeful the Australian Grand Prix will feature less red flags than were required last season but predicts tyre management will be a struggle.

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Max Verstappen expects tyre management to be "quite tough" in the Australian Grand Prix, but is mostly hoping for fewer red flags than last season's edition.

The reigning world champion will start the third round of 2024 from pole position, and now has the chance to match his 10 consecutive victories on Sunday.

Verstappen was victorious at the Albert Park Circuit last season, a race which featured a staggering three red flags. Two of which came in the closing four laps, meaning the Dutchman only won by just under two-tenths of a second.

Winning by a greater margin on Sunday is not a concern of the 26-year-old's, who is more hoping for fewer stoppages.

"A win is a win. It doesn't matter, right?" said Verstappen. "But it was just a bit messy last year with too many red flags.

"So let's just hope that that is not the case this year and that we can have a good race in general because I think the fans, they deserve that. It's always a great race to be at. And yeah, I do think that it can be an interesting race tomorrow."

Ferrari 'dialled in'

Verstappen claiming pole was a surprise to many, as Ferrari has looked like the strongest team this weekend.

Even the championship leader admits the Maranello-based outfit have been strong from the get-go in Australia, but believes Red Bull have grown into the event.

"Yeah, maybe it's because we were not on top of things, but they looked well dialled in, let's say, like that from the start," noted Verstappen.

"And probably from our side, it was a bit the opposite way. And yeah, we managed to improve it. But the race is going to be quite tough with the softer compounds that we have this year. So yeah, we'll find out."

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