2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg is hopeful Verstappen will be able to take the fight to Bottas and Hamilton this weekend.
But he admits Mercedes are on course for a record 68th front-row lock out, with Red Bull vying against their rivals for third on the grid.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t look too great out there at the moment compared to the Mercedes,” said Rosberg. “But, let’s see. It’s really early days. You never know what fuel loads people are using. So let’s keep the hope alive that we can see a fight out front.
“At the moment, though, to me it looks like Mercedes is away and then behind it looks like a three-way fight between Red Bull, Ferrari and Racing Point.”
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