Max Verstappen believes Toro Rosso has potentially the second-best chassis behind Mercedes, but says it is compromised by its underpowered Renault engine.

The Dutchman, who became the youngest person to start an F1 race earlier this year, is currently competing in his maiden season of F1 racing, but has been full of praise for the strength and potential of the STR10 chassis.

Indeed, Verstappen even goes as far to say Toro Rosso has the best handling car on the grid after Mercedes, adding that a stronger engine would potentially make the chassis even better.

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"P3 behind the Mercedes'," he said when asked how good he felt the Toro Rosso chassis is. "When you have a fast engine, the chassis gets better because it is easier to drive. You don't need to go over the limit in terms of traction to try and gain one or two hundredths that you would lose on the straight anyway. When I compare it to high speed performance in general, we are P3.

For Verstappen, the lack of speed from the Renault engine is negating the abilities of the chassis as it is forced to compromise its strength in downforce.

"It compromises everything because we have to take off our strong point, which is downforce. You compromise the engine speed and you also lose performance, which is quite difficult for us, especially on tracks like Canada and Austria as it was not so easy to find the right balance there. For Mercedes it doesn't matter if they run a bit less or a bit more, they are fast on the straights anyway."

When asked by Crash.net whether he felt Toro Rosso had a better chassis than the sister Red Bull team, Verstappen says he thinks his car has a comparatively wider operating window in order to be competitive.

"I think for them it is more difficult to find the sweet spot of the car. In general, the whole year, when you go to higher downforce tracks we were strong compared to Red Bull. Sometimes they set up the car a bit better, but I think our car is very close."