Mixed fortunes for Red Bull Racing in Australian Grand Prix

Horner: Red Bull still way off competing with Mercedes and Ferrari

"That will be hard because Red Bull is "Team Verstappen", but he has his chance and it's up to him to stand out at this level".

It is a odd set-up when at only 21 years old Max Verstappen is the senior driver at Red Bull - especially when his new team-mate, Pierre Gasly, is 23.

Verstappen was the quickest non-Mercedes driver in Friday practice, the Dutchman finishing third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, eight-tenths off the ultimate pace.

"I think we've been quite optimistic and didn't expect such a level of track evolution and the pack to be so close like this, so it's pretty tough", said Gasly.

Despite the performance advantage of the German cars, Horner questioned the comfort of the W10's handling.

Red Bull
Jacques Villeneuve

Red Bull finished 236 points behind champions Mercedes last season, the team only winning four races across the year.

Verstappen offered a positive feedback after his first day of work, but admitted it was all still a work in progress.

"I'm quite happy about today and the feeling so far is pretty good", said Verstappen.

"We're clearly not exactly where we would like to be but I think slowly, session after session, we were going in the right direction", Gasly added. "We need to stay positive and tomorrow will be about learning about the auto and hopefully gaining some positions".

"We will look at the data tonight and see what we can improve but from the engine side there were no problems and it all ran very smoothly".

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