Max Verstappen makes worrying admission which will alarm fans in Australia

Starting on pole position, Max Verstappen has the chance to extend his championship lead, as he targets a third world title.

Max Verstappen stormed to pole position in Australia, as he led his rivals in a tightly fought qualifying session around the Albert Park Circuit.

Ahead of Sunday’s race, Verstappen fears that his only rival in the 2023 title race is his own teammate, Sergio Perez, as the RB19 appears the most dominant car on the grid.

Perez showed his ability to secure victories for the team when he took the chequered flag in Saudi Arabia, converting pole position into 25 points.

Perez would be leading the Championship title race if Verstappen hadn’t snatched the fastest lap point in the final lap of the race around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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Verstappen is the favourite in the 2023 season to claim the World Championship, with Red Bull firmly on course to secure another Constructors’ title. 

“[Perez] is my only rival at the moment,” Verstappen told Sky Italia.

“We have the same car, so we can both do better. This might change during the season, but he’s the only one who can give me a hard time during the race.”

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“I’m very confident on the fact that we both have a car to fight for the title. I have my place and they respect me,” Perez said after the race in Jeddah.

The Mexican driver might struggle for success in Australia, as he starts in 20th place, having got stuck in the gravel trap in Q1 before he had a chance to set a time.

If Perez can make his way through the field, as Verstappen did in Saudi Arabia, Red Bull could secure a third consecutive one-two finish, cementing their status at the head of the pack.