An upgrade package introduced by Red Bull at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which revolved around aero tweaks and weight reduction, appears to have given the team a speed advantage.
Verstappen dominated Imola’s weekend, despite a poor start to the sprint, and won again in Miami last weekend to further close out the early point advantage opened by Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari is currently holding back the introduction of any upgrades but is expected to bring its first major development package for the next race in Spain.
But while Red Bull appears to be gaining momentum in its championship charge, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insists he is not too alarmed by the situation.
“In terms of performance analysis, and how much they are [Red Bull] developed compared to us, is that a concern? I would say no, ”he said.
“I don’t think there is much difference. It’s a matter of a maximum of a couple of tenths and we shouldn’t forget that [in Miami] we locked the front row.
“In qualifying we had a better performance compared to Red Bull, so overall, on a weekend, I don’t think there was much difference between Red Bull and Ferrari.
“If there’s a concern, it’s how much they’re progressing considering the budget gap. But more of a concern, maybe it’s a hope because at some stage they have to stop.
As well as having a small speed difference between the Ferrari and the Red Bull, the biggest difference is actually in how the two cars reach their lap time.
Red Bull has generally been faster on straight roads, while Ferrari has enjoyed the edge in corners.
However, Leclerc thinks Ferrari may need to deeply understand why its tire damage today looks worse than Red Bull did when it earlier became a major force.
“In a race especially in softer compounds, medium and soft, like two races ago in terms of race pace, they seem to be stronger and better manage those tires,” he said.
“In qualifying, we always managed to put the tires in the right window, which helps us. But in the long run, we have a harder time compared to them.”