Max Verstappen says his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team will have to ‘wait and see’ if they can compete with Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman was third fastest in the morning and only 0.074 seconds slower than Sebastian Vettel in Free Practice 2 but Verstappen is still worried the team are losing too much time on the straights to gain back in the corners.
“To set a good lap time around this circuit you need a good balance, I felt we have that,” said Verstappen. “The car was good but unfortunately we still lose a bit of time on the straights.
“I am not sure if the strengths in cornering will be enough to compensate for this, so we shall have to wait and see.”
Despite a strong Friday, Verstappen still feels work needs to be done on the set-up for the Red Bull to in with a shout of pole position.
“I think we can still improve the setup of the car a little bit more and be quicker than our best lap today, if that will be enough for pole position I’m not sure,” said the Dutchman. “We are strong in sector 2 as you would expect as it is very tight and twisty.
“Qualifying will be important as it’s hard to overtake here so getting ahead early is vital.”
Tyres have been key on race day this season and Verstappen knows they must make sure they are on top of their tyre management and believes that Mercedes will come a threat as the weekend progresses.
“Another factor is tyre management and strategy, this will be important come the race so we will look into the data tonight in order to get an understanding before Sunday,” he said. “Mercedes seemed to struggle on the Ultras a bit but I’m expecting them to get it together tomorrow as they usually do.
“It is also uncertain how much they gain with their power mode. In the long runs they already looked quite competitive.”