Verstappen admits Red Bull may not catch Mercedes in 2020

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Max Verstappen admits Red Bull may not close the gap to Mercedes before the end of 2020.

The Anglo-Austrian team had big expectations heading into this season but they've returned to Earth with a bump after the German manufacturer has been increasingly dominant in the first three races.

What has most caught most by surprise has been the gains Mercedes has been able to make, in particular with their engine which has taken a big step forward compared to last year.

As a result, Verstappen admits Red Bull are currently behind in all areas.

"It's a bit of both, just general grip, of course, and top speed we are down, so we just have to make sure we work on both sides," he said via on where the main deficit is.

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"I mean I'm not going to say we're going to close the gap to Mercedes this year, but at least if we can make it a little more difficult for them, then in some scenarios, you can fight them.

"But they are so dominant at the moment, it's going to be tricky but you don't give up, you can always learn and for next year, so we'll get started this weekend and see where we are."

The main complaint of both Red Bull drivers has been a lack of predictability from the RB16 and a snappy rear end when pushed near the limit.

And though Verstappen jokingly claims the best solution is to "stay on throttle", he admitted: "It is what it is, you just have to deal with it and the guys are working hard on it to try and improve it."

The issue though follows Red Bull persistently push for more front grip, but Max doesn't mind if the problem was caused by the team going too far in that direction.

"I don't know but I prefer that we are pushing very hard and maybe overstepping it a little bit instead of being consistently slow," he claimed. "So yeah we're pushing hard and we'll try to rectify it."

Ver Spin

As for this weekend, Red Bull is set to trial a number of upgrades on Friday in an effort to find solutions to the "anomalies" with their car.

While Verstappen is simply hoping to at least keep Mercedes within sight.

“Last year, we came here and we thought we’re going to get smashed and we were within two tenths in qualifying,'' he said.

''It can depend on a lot of things. For sure, they are the dominant team and they will be very fast. It can be from two tenths to a second - you don’t know, you really don’t know.

“I hope it’s not going to be a second, I hope not. I hope to be within half a second, that would be good I think.’’