Verstappen confident Bahrain not representative of Red Bull's pace

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Max Verstappen is sure Red Bull is much closer to the front than their pace in Bahrain suggests.

The Dutchman again led the charge for the Milton Keynes outfit as teammate Pierre Gasly struggled, but even Max found himself under pressure from behind as the team struggled to find performance from the tyres.

He is expecting a better result in Shanghai though, a circuit Red Bull won at last year thanks to an inspired strategy and Daniel Ricciardo's excellent overtakes.

“It cannot be worse than what we showed here,” Verstappen admitted. “We made some mistakes in terms of setup [in Bahrain], so I think if you look back to Australia we were quite happy. 

“We were still 20 seconds off to Valtteri [Bottas], but in that race, I couldn’t go and push like I wanted to because I was always held up by other cars. I think we can do a lot better than what we showed so far.”

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Further enthusing the 21-year-old was the opportunity to test in Bahrain on Tuesday, even if the weather unexpectedly intervened to hamper running.

“I think we learnt a lot already from it so from that way I think it is very positive,” Verstappen surmised afterwards. 

“We don’t have that many days to really understand the car and during the weekend it all goes very quickly doing just 1.5hr sessions, which is not amazing, so to have a day like this was very helpful.”

Asked what Red Bull focused on, he replied: "In every area you can always work on, we knew what went wrong here in terms of rear grip so we tried to work on that.

“It’s a bit of everything. You always want more downforce, but it is also about how you can balance it. Clearly, we did something wrong during the weekend so that is why it [the test] was very positive for us.”