Verstappen 'not too worried' about rivals heading to Suzuka

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Max Verstappen is taking a 'wait and see' approach to Red Bull's chances this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix.

This race has been targeted by the Anglo-Austrian outfit for a possible victory as they look to give engine supplier Honda their first home win since 1991.

Recent difficult races in Singapore and Sochi has seen Verstappen raise concerns about Red Bull's competitiveness however, but he is keeping to the optimistic tone heading to Suzuka.

“We always aim to win and if we have a good result in Suzuka, of course, it’s great for Honda as well at their home track,” the Dutchman stated.

“At the end of the day, I always want to do well, so I will always give the best that I can. If it all comes together in Suzuka, then it will be great, but let’s see."

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Verstappen then weighed up the relative strengths of their rivals, suggesting Red Bull potential will come down to two key factors.

“Looking at last year in Suzuka I think Ferrari was also very fast. Of course, we had our moments in the race together, but I should expect we can have a very strong weekend there," Max explained.

“There’s still quite a long straight at the back without DRS, that can be maybe painful but let’s see.

“We have a fresh engine there, so let’s see how we’re going to compare against Ferrari and Mercedes.

“I expect both teams to be quick. Probably Mercedes in Sector 1, and Ferrari in Sector 3, that’s how it’s been basically the whole year and I just hope we find a good set-up in the car, but I’m not too worried.”

Verstappen also enjoys a very strong record in Japan with three podiums in three races with Red Bull and the 22-year-old hopes to give the fanatical local supporters plenty of reasons to cheer.

“Let’s see first if we have the chance of winning," he said.

“But I think after the success we’ve had already this year, which I think many didn’t expect to happen, I just hope that there are a lot of fans coming to the track.

“It will just be a question mark what they’re going to wear because they have white and red in their flags but then, with Dutch involved, they wear a lot of orange, so maybe they have to split the t-shirts - let’s see!”