Verstappen notes ‘better pace’ from Ferrari

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen says Ferrari has shown “better pace” in Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix compared to recent races.

Sebastian Vettel was a close third behind the two Mercedes in FP1 before splitting Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Verstappen finished fourth in both sessions, trailing the lead Ferrari by nearly seven tenths in FP2.

While Red Bull moved past the Scuderia in the competitive order in Barcelona and Monaco, Verstappen admits their rivals, who have a new spec of turbocharger this weekend, seem more competitive in Montreal.

“They definitely look [like they have] a bit better pace, so we still need to do some more work,” the Dutchman said. “But everybody wants to improve, so we have to see tomorrow. For sure we need to improve, but I would say it is a positive day.”

Ferrari drivers are not the only ones using upgraded power units at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as Verstappen finally sampled the Renault B-spec that his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had debuted in Monaco two weeks earlier.

Asked about his initial impressions of the evolution, the 18-year-old replied: “It is a good step. It is a bit too early to say where we are at the moment, but I felt good.”

Pressed to say whether it will help Red Bull stay ahead of Ferrari, Verstappen remained evasive.

“I don’t know yet but it is definitely a good step.”

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