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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20170326-00201 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20170326-00201 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Verstappen: The gap is large

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20170326-00201 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20170326-00201 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Max Verstappen finished fifth at the season opening Australian Grand Prix and it is clear the teenager is underwhelmed with the package he has been given to take on Ferrari and Mercedes, but he does admit that catching the Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the race was a pleasant surprise.

Verstappen told De Telegraaf, “The gap is large. We must be ready for very hard work. And when we put parts on the car, it can be tough go in the right direction. And competition is also not standing still. ”

“We are in a kind of limbo. I just did not expect that I could get so close to Raikkonen. That was a small windfall. My car was in the race better than in qualifying. ”

In the 58 lap race, Verstappen overtook one car and no one got by him, “The cars have become more fun to drive because they are faster. But it was not very exciting at all. I could have made two extra pit stops without endangering my fifth place.”

As for his race, Verstappen said, “The result is perhaps even better than we expected, because the race pace was even better than in qualifying.”

“I could follow Kimi pretty well which was a nice surprise and I had no pressure from behind me. It was positive to see we weren’t that far off Ferrari and Mercedes over a full race distance,” he added.

The TAG Heuer badged Renault power unit is down on power compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, with an upgrade expected for the Spanish Grand Prix in mid-May.

“Is it frustrating to have to wait so long? It is what it is and I cannot change anything,” added Verstappen.