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  • Max Verstappen Concerned As Red Bull Face Tightened Competition In Japan

Max Verstappen concerned as Red Bull face tightened competition in Japan

Max Verstappen expressed concern as he sensed a narrowing of the gap between Red Bull and their competitors during a disrupted Friday practice at the Japanese GP.

The day's on-track activities at Suzuka were hampered by rain, limiting the teams' running time. Verstappen, after leading the charts in the first session, voiced apprehension about the increased competitiveness of their rivals, despite Red Bull's promising start with a one-two finish in the initial practice.

"It was a good start for us," Verstappen acknowledged, aiming for his third consecutive victory at Suzuka. "The balance wasn't bad, which is always promising. It seems like everyone is a little closer together compared to last year."

Verstappen noted the overall tighter competition, particularly in qualifying pace, suggesting a diminished advantage for Red Bull compared to the previous season. "I think in general over one lap, it seems like people have got closer," he remarked. However, he remained uncertain about the long-run pace due to the disrupted session caused by the rain.

The Dutch driver's observations underline the intensified competition in the 2024 Formula 1 season, with teams pushing harder to close the performance gap. 

Despite the challenges faced in the second practice session, which Red Bull did not partake in, Verstappen expressed contentment with the team's performance in the opening session, highlighting the need to explore further improvements.

The Japanese Grand Prix marks the fourth race of the 2024 F1 season, with qualifying scheduled for April 6 and the main race set to take place on April 7 at the Suzuka International Racing Course. As the championship unfolds, Verstappen and Red Bull face the task of maintaining their edge in the fiercely contested season.

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