Max Verstappen fires message to F1 rivals after Bahrain testing

The Dutch youngster has finished third and fourth in the first two races of the season and will look to go one better in China next time out.

And Max Verstappen believes his Red Bull car has a lot more potential than he has been able to show so far.

“It cannot be worse than what we showed here,” Verstappen said.

“We made some mistakes in terms of setup [in Bahrain], so I think if you look back to Australia we were quite happy.

“We were still 20 seconds off to Valtteri [Bottas], but in that race I couldn’t go and push like I wanted to because I was always held up by other cars.

“I think we can do a lot better than what we showed so far.”

Verstappen also believes Red Bull have learnt a lot about their car in testing.

“I think we learnt a lot already from it so from that way I think it is very positive,” he added.

“We don’t have that many days to really understand the car and during the weekend it all goes very quickly doing just one-and-a-half hour sessions, which is not amazing, so to have a day like this was very helpful.”

Lewis Hamilton, for one, will be hoping Red Bull fail to bridge the gap to Mercedes.

Ferrari had the better of the world champion in the Bahrain Grand Prix but Hamilton still picked up the win thanks to an engine problem suffered by Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen is currently third in the drivers championship behind Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas who leads the way.

His team-mate Pierre Gasly has struggled since being called up to replace Daniel Ricciardo though.

F1 returns with the Chinese Grand Prix from April 12-14.