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Verstappen 'no comment' on Wolff's three-way prediction

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with the media.
© XPB 

Max Verstappen has decided not to voice an opinion on predictions made by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for the forthcoming season.

Wolff told Sky Italia that from what he'd seen so far in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he was expecting a three-way fight for the championship.

Last year Ferrari started strongly only to be overtaken by Mercedes in the second half of the season. But this year, Wolff expects Red Bull to be in contention as well.

"Red Bull is the fastest car at the moment," Wolff said. "But we, Ferrari and them are very close ... There is no big difference."

No team likes coming under the spotlight of being declared a frontrunner by one of its rivals. It's no surprise that Verstappen declined to comment.

"It's too early and I don't want to talk about it," he told reporters. However, he did say that last week's positive first impressions of the new RB14 had been confirmed now the car had been out on better conditions.

"With the first week not being that successful in terms of temperatures and so on, it’s still all to be discovered," he said. "I know it feels faster though!

"The question mark is about the others."

Certainly it seems hard to see the number of title contenders stretching to four teams. Renault's Carlos Sainz admitted as much this week, saying the gap from the top three to the midfield teams was too great.

"It is very difficult to recover a gap to Ferrari and Mercedes since they are the ones with the most resources," he pointed out.

Sainz said that Renault was aiming to be "best of the rest". He added that he "would not be surprised" by a significant gap between them and the top three teams.

"As for the rest we'll see," he said. "But I think the battle in the middle group will be incredibly dense."

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