Verstappen must wait for faster Red Bull

Max Verstappen says he must be patient amid Red Bull's push to catch top two F1 teams Ferrari and Mercedes in 2017.

While some thought the energy drink-owned team was bluffing in the winter, the Dutchman finished fifth in Australia as Red Bull admitted to both chassis and engine deficits.

Red Bull said it is working on upgrades to debut in China and Bahrain, while improvements for the Renault power unit might take until May's Monaco grand prix to arrive.

"If it's frustrating to have to wait so long? That's how it is," Verstappen is quoted by the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "I can't change anything about it.

"The gap is big," he added, "so we'll have to work hard."

Verstappen said one bright spot is that the new-generation 2017 cars are more enjoyable to drive, but he joined those worrying that overtaking will be particularly rare this year.

One count showed there were just 5 passes during the Australian grand prix, down from two dozen in 2016.

"The cars have become more fun to drive," said Verstappen. "But it (Melbourne) wasn't very exciting. I could have made two extra pitstops without endangering my position."

Verstappen also told the Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport Totaal: "I'm not really frustrated because already during the winter I noticed that the car is not quite perfect.

"The most positive thing about the (Melbourne) weekend? The weather."

(GMM)

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