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F1 Brazilian GP: Verstappen optimistic but ‘Mercedes too far ahead’

Max Verstappen doesn't expect to see Red Bull challenging Mercedes at Interlagos this weekend, but expects to be best of the rest.
RESULTS: Brazilian Grand Prix - Free practice results (2)

Max Verstappen says he is satisfied with his Red Bull's pace following Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix even if he doesn't expect to be mounting a challenge to Mercedes come race day.

Just 0.096s slower than pace setter Lewis Hamilton in FP1, Verstappen slipped back to sixth place in FP2 behind his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and both Williams'.

Blaming an incorrect set-up change on the soft tyres for his slower FP2 time, he was nonetheless happier with the long run pace despite the margin to the Mercedes' out front.

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“I think first practice was actually pretty good, [but] we made some changes for the second practice. The short run was not fantastic, but we managed to turn it around again for the long run, that all looked really good. Mercedes still looks too far ahead but then after them we are there.”

Holding out hope for some rain come Sunday to get into the mix, Verstappen himself is hoping a good result will help in his attempts to beat the Ferraris to fourth overall.

“We are still not close enough to them but, as I think it will rain on Sunday and that should bring some excitement.”

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