Max Verstappen says Red Bull Racing just don't have the “raw speed” needed to challenge and beat Mercedes in the dry.
Red Bull ended the first half of the season strongly, with its first double podium of the season – and first since Hungary last year – moving it up to second in the Constructors' Championship, and ahead of Ferrari, 14 points the difference.
However, despite the resurgence, Verstappen is pessimistic about their chances of taking the fight to Mercedes unless there is precipitation.
“Not at the moment, I think they are still too strong. In the wet yeah definitely we have chance like you could see in Silverstone but normal dry conditions they are unbeatable at the moment. Of course we need a bit of luck, sometimes when they touch each other or when they have a little issue or whatever then we have a chance but on just raw speed it's different,” he confirmed.
Asked if that will be the case for the remainder of 2016, he replied: “For the rest of this season. We can be close again in Singapore but all the other tracks it will be hard.”
Meanwhile, Verstappen added that while Red Bull could probably have been closer in Hungary, the tricky wet-dry conditions there during qualifying actually went against them.
“I think in qualifying [in Budapest] we could have challenged, it was just a bit unfortunate how the whole qualifying session went but in the race they were definitely too strong, that's a fact. On qualifying pace I think we could have been close. I wouldn't say we could have beat them but it could have been close and I also didn't expect to beat them in Hungary.
“In the end, for the whole season I think Monaco is still the best chance. I think Singapore will be close to Monaco but not as strong as Monaco,” he concluded.