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Monday 20 March at 08:35
Verstappen plays down early race wins in 2017
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Monday 20 March at 08:35 : Mar.20 (GMM) Max Verstappen has confirmed expectations that Red Bull will touch down in Australia this week with several improvements for the 2017 car.

The energy drink owned team had a low profile winter, obviously behind Mercedes and Ferrari but amid suggestions Adrian Newey was planning a 'miracle upgrade' for Melbourne.

Asked how the Melbourne-spec car will differ, Verstappen told De Telegraaf newspaper just before leaving for Australia: "I can't say.

"But it looks better and hopefully it will be faster."

However, the 19-year-old is not confident he will have a pole and race-winning car this weekend.

"Personally, I don't think we can challenge for the victories at this stage. But we can still improve a lot during the season and we have started already," said Verstappen.

He admits that the big winter surprise was Ferrari's form, even though he is not sure the Italian team can challenge Mercedes for the title.

"But we can see they have made a big step forward and they will certainly fight for victories," said the Dutchman.

As for Mercedes, Verstappen told his website verstappen.nl: "They will always be there. They have probably done a little sandbagging, as always."
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NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
TV schedule
Friday - practice 1
12:30 - 14:00

Friday - practice 2
16:30 - 18:00

Saturday - practice 3
14:00 - 15:00

Saturday - qualification
17:00 - 18:00

Sunday - race
16:00

Friday - practice 1

Friday - practice 2

Saturday - practice 3

Saturday - qualification

Sunday - race

STANDINGS 2016
Driver championship
1.Vettel54
2.Hamilton45
3.Bottas40
Constructors championship
1.Mercedes85
2.Ferrari84
3.Red Bull55
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