Red Bull exposed at Silverstone by lack of power

Verstappen blames 80bhp deficit for gap to pole at Silverstone

The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season and is understood to have been offered a significant pay rise at McLaren.

"It is obviously looking more and more likely I will remain", said Riccardo. "This track is getting less and less favourable for us which is a shame".

Hamilton started on pole position for Mercedes, with Ferrari's championship leader Sebastian Vettel alongside making a clean getaway.

"Not every door is closed, but it's looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their line-up".

"I am so grateful for the support and without you I wouldn't have been able to do it".

"If it wasn't Red Bull, they are the two most attractive options". "The last lap they figured it out - but the first lap, the best lap, I didn't have it".

"You can read between the lines".

Asked in which corners the lack of power was having the biggest impact, he said: "Turn 1, for example, and Copse, and the big problem as well is when you go through a corner which is nearly flat, then when you accelerate out of the corner our engine is just not pulling, and their engine then recovers".

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The final two safety cars set up a 10-lap sprint to the end, during which Mercedes and Ferrari quickly edged clear of the Red Bulls.

"We know we are already a bit off the pace, and down the straights we lose a lot. On any kind of horsepower circuit they have got quite a big buffer on us".

"For tomorrow, it's going to be a bit warmer but still a bit of a struggle compared to the guys ahead".

The past two years with the current auto designs, however, it has become nearly the opposite with numerous turns Red Bull used to thrive on now easily flat-out and thus making engine performance far more crucial as several straights are now elongated.

"If you lose more than a second on the straight then you know it's going to be a hard weekend", he continued, "but actually I was quite happy with how the vehicle was performing in qualifying so actually I don't have anything to complain about".

Verstappen was also emphatic when it was suggested Red Bull may have a better chassis than Mercedes and Ferrari.

Asked if he could repeat his unexpected Austria triumph on race day at Silverstone, Verstappen replied: "Never say never but it is going to be tough".

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