‘We want more’ – Verstappen frustrated by Ferrari’s advantage over Red Bull

Charles Leclerc pipped Max Verstappen to pole position for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen cut a visibly frustrated figure after losing out on pole position in Melbourne to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

The Dutchman had been working on Friday to improve the “balance” of the car, and set 60 laps over the course of the three practice sessions, only breaking into the top two on one occasion.

“After some changes, the car felt better and more stable after that, so that’s nice. Ferrari seems very strong again, but we are close,” he added.

He perennially spent qualifying trading positions with team-mate Sergio Perez but managed to produce a lap time sufficient to put him on the front row, although he is irritated that he lost out to Leclerc.

“[Today was] not good,” he told Johnny Herbert after qualifying.

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“I didn’t really feel good in the car the whole weekend so far. I don’t think there’s been one lap where I actually felt confident so [it was] a bit of a struggle.

“Of course second is still a good result but [I’m] just not feeling that great to go to the limit so we’ll try to analyse it.”

Red Bull’s race pace, particularly as they utilise the slipstream and DRS, may well come through considering their straight-line speed advantage over Ferrari.

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Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz ended ninth after issues in Q3 which could provide an opening for the Milton Keynes side, but the reigning world champion is not necessarily appeased by this.

“Probably in the race pace everything stabilises a little bit but for me this weekend so far has been all over the place,” he said.

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“Of course I’m happy to be second but of course I think also as a team we want more.”

Verstappen has appeared slightly more challenged during qualifying by Perez in the last two rounds than he has done since their partnership began last year, but overcame the Mexican for the second time in three qualifying sessions in 2022 following Perez’s magnificent pole in Jeddah.