Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen doesn't believe Red Bull Racing is now being positioned as Mercedes' closest rivals ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix despite its race winning success last time out in Spain.
Though Ferrari has been regarded as Mercedes' nearest competitor this season, Red Bull emerged as a formidable contender in the run up to the Spanish Grand Prix before Verstappen clinched a sensational win around the Circuit de Catalunya.
Indeed, though Raikkonen's third podium of the season in Spain has lifted him to second position in the overall standings behind Nico Rosberg, Red Bull's renewed success is pitching it as a potential rival for Mercedes particularly as it prepares to utilise its much anticipated engine upgrade.
However, despite the missed opportunity in Spain, Raikkonen doesn't believe Red Bull has the edge on Ferrari as yet.
“Everybody has been trying to beat Mercedes, all the teams want to be at the front and we want to be there also,” he said. “Obviously what happened to Mercedes in the last race gave us an opportunity and we managed to come out in 2nd and 3rd place.
“We'd much rather be the winners but it didn't happen. Still it doesn't mean we are behind Red Bull, in Barcelona they were ahead of us with one car, but we definitively think we are ahead of them.
“We definitively want to be winners, that's always the aim, it was the aim last year and also the years before that. We keep working hard, on the things we can do, but it takes time and it's not going to happen overnight, we need some patience.
“In Barcelona we had an opportunity but we didn't manage to take it for many reasons. But I don't think Red Bull is suddenly ahead of us – it's just what happened in the last race."