Max Verstappen believes Red Bull will struggle to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes for victories at the beginning of the season.
The Milton-Keynes-based outfit has yet to show the true pace of the RB13 having sandbagged in pre-season testing.
Red Bull is expected to bring a vast number of upgrades to Melbourne but should the updates improve the RB13 car, Verstappen still doesn’t see the team being close enough to win a race.
“We still have to wait and see how good we really are,” he told Dutch daily De Telegraaf quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Personally, I don’t think we can fight for the win at the moment. Much can change during the course of the season, but we are not good enough yet to win.”
Despite being coy on his expectations for Red Bull this year, Verstappen is in hope that the Austrian outfit can make a resurgent comeback similar to 2016.
“Clearly, Ferrari took a step forward from last year,” he added. “Mercedes will always be right there – I think they probably sandbagged a bit. It’s been that way for the last couple of years.
“For us, it is hard to tell where we are. Personally I don’t think we are the best team yet, but we will have to wait and see.
“After qualifying in Australia, we will know our pure performance. We won’t be going there with the idea we can go for pole.
“At the moment, I think both Ferrari and Mercedes will be in front of us, but hopefully we will be able to get into a rhythm, just like last year. We can do better this year, but we need to work hard in order to get there.”