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Verstappen predicts exciting Australian GP due to KEY Red Bull 'question mark' - Top Three verdict

Verstappen predicts exciting Australian GP due to KEY Red Bull 'question mark' - Top Three verdict

Verstappen predicts exciting Australian GP due to KEY Red Bull 'question mark' - Top Three verdict

Verstappen predicts exciting Australian GP due to KEY Red Bull 'question mark' - Top Three verdict

Max Verstappen has claimed that a 'question mark' over Red Bull's true pace could set up an 'exciting' Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, with Ferrari best-placed to challenge the championship leader.

Indeed, it was the Scuderia who looked like favourites to seal pole position during Qualifying on Saturday, having topped the timing sheets in practice sessions 2 and 3.

By contrast, Verstappen looked somewhat out of sorts after complaining about the balance of his car on Friday.

READ MORE: F1 Results Today: Australian Grand Prix qualifying times - Verstappen on pole as Mercedes suffer horror show

Faith in the Maranello-based team seemed to be well-placed, after a Q1 and Q2 session where the top few cars were separated by tiny margins.

However, Verstappen managed to pull a couple of great laps out of the bag in Q3 to ensure that he claimed another pole position, with Carlos Sainz behind and Sergio Perez rounding out the top three.

With Ferrari's longer-run pace looking strong during practice, it's all to play for in Melbourne heading into Sunday's race.

Here's what the three drivers had to say on the session...

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen claimed another pole position

"A bit unexpected today in qualifying but very happy with Q3. Both of those laps felt very nice and it was enjoyable.

"A bit of a tricky weekend so far but we managed to be there at the end, so very happy with that.

"Ferrari seem quick on the long runs, so bit of a question mark for tomorrow, but I guess that makes it exciting."

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Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz was back following appendicitis surgery

"It’s been a tough couple weeks, a lot of days in bed waiting for this moment to see if I could be here today.

"To make it to this weekend and then to put it on the front row after leading through qualifying, I was almost not believing it, especially after how tough it’s been.

"But very happy to be here, very happy to be challenging the Red Bulls this weekend.

"I was a bit rusty at the beginning yesterday but then I got up to speed and I could finally find the pace and am feeling good with the car.

"I’m not going to lie, I’m not in my most comfortable state when I’m driving out there but I can get it done. And as long as I can get it done without the pain, obviously a lot of discomfort and weird feelings but no pain, so it allows me to push flat out."

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez believes he had more to give

"There was a bit more in it. My first sector was not great, especially Turn One. On my final lap, I didn't hook the whole combination which straight away is a tenth or tenth and a half.

"But, I'm happy given I think how we have been during the weekend.

"I think tomorrow we have a fight on our hands with the Ferraris and the rest of the field. Degradation is going to be very high, so starting position is not as relevant at the moment."

READ MORE: Hamilton details KEY factor that made his car 'unstable' in Melbourne

Related

Red Bull Mercedes Max Verstappen Ferrari Australian Grand Prix
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