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Formula 1 Spanish GP

Verstappen: Red Bull's F1 dominance won't return at Spanish GP

Amid fears of Red Bull reasserting its dominance at Formula 1's Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen believes rivals have done enough to prevent a return to early 2024 margins.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen says he doesn't believe Red Bull will regain its early 2024 Formula 1 dominance at the Spanish Grand Prix, despite encountering a strong circuit for its car.

F1 returns to a more traditional run of European circuits, beginning with a triple-header featuring Barcelona, the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone.

It is considered to be a more favourable stretch of layouts for Red Bull's RB20, which was dominant in Bahrain, Japan and China but saw rivals close the gap on bumpier and more technical circuits in recent weeks.

But while Verstappen admitted his team was excited to return to the high-speed sweeps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he doesn't think Red Bull can be as dominant as it was at the start of the year.

"No, I don't think it will be like the beginning of the season," Verstappen said on Thursday.

"We know that normally this is a track that our cars should suit a bit more and we're excited, of course.

"I'm aware that everyone has been catching up a lot, so everyone is quite confident, but if you compare this to the last few races that we have done, this should be a better track for us.

"But still, we need to make sure that it's in the right balance window."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in the Press Conference

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in the Press Conference

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In Canada Verstappen voiced his frustration that the team has not been optimising some of its race weekends this year as well as it used to, with an engine issue in FP2 the latest gremlin.

Verstappen dismissed suggestions there was any extra tension within the race team, and was confident it was "fully on top" of race weekend execution.

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"It's not tension, we always want to do well and we also know that other people are pushing flat out so we just need to have a good weekend like we always want to have it," he said.

"If it doesn't go to plan, it's not a man overboard, we just keep working and keep trying to be better.

"We just had different kinds of little issues every time on Friday that then made it a bit harder, so we just need to try and have a clean start to the weekend. I think that will already help a lot, so we are fully on top of that."

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