Max Verstappen doubts Red Bull will be able to challenge for victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend, feeling Mercedes and Ferrari will return to their dominant form at the front of the Formula 1 field at Interlagos.

Verstappen scored his second victory of the year with a dominant display last time out in Mexico, leading all but four laps en route to a comfortable win ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

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The result acted as a late boost for Red Bull in a season that has seen it struggle to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari on a regular basis, having only taken wins in Monaco and Austria prior to Verstappen’s victory.

Verstappen has impressed in Brazil in the past, most notably in 2016 when he finished third for Red Bull in torrential rain, but the Dutchman doubted his chances of fighting at the front this year despite the team’s pace in Mexico.

“We will always try to do the best we can, but I think there are not enough corners to make up the loss we have on the straight which you could also see last year,” Verstappen said.

“In a week, normally you can’t improve your car that much, so we don’t have enough power. 

“It’s not a normal straight it’s uphill and you are always turning at high speeds so it makes it only worse. With the levels of downforce on these cars, the corners are even more flat out, so that’s the same scenario we get in Silverstone.

“A few years ago it was really a proper track with proper corners, but now it’s pretty much flat out and it gets more painful for us.”

Asked if fifth and sixth place was set in stone for Red Bull at Interlagos, Verstappen said: “Normally, if nothing crazy happens.”

Verstappen currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship, 70 points clear of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo and just 11 shy of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in P4.

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