Verstappen: Red Bull beating 'insane' Ferrari in Mexico is impossible

Max Verstappen says it is proving “impossible” to hold a candle to Ferrari in qualifying, putting his and Red Bull’s hopes of a third Mexican GP win in as many years into doubt.

The Scuderia have taken five pole positions in a row since the summer break, with an engine upgrade and new aerodynamic parts unlocking the potential of the previously underwhelming SF90.

Victories have not followed in each of the past two races as Ferrari’s propensity for self-sabotage has returned, but their Saturday prowess has rivals Mercedes and Red Bull concerned, and it has been reported that the Scuderia’s manufacturing rivals have queried the legality of the Ferrari power unit.

Regardless of whether it complies to the regulations, Verstappen says the Ferrari engine is almost unbeatable in qualifying trim.

“We brought updates, others did too and we didn’t make the performance step like we did last year compared to them,” Verstappen said.

“From the Ferrari side, they gained over the year more and more power, just very hard to beat that.

“Even if you have a car that is half a second faster, it’s still almost impossible to beat them in qualifying, as you can see with Mercedes; they definitely have the best car compared to them. Still in qualifying, they are lacking lately.

“It’s insane the speed difference they [Ferrari] have.”

Verstappen has won in Mexico the past two years, but is not confident of making it a hat-trick this weekend.

“This year, from the Honda side, we don’t know how competitive it is going to be,” he said.

“This year will be a bit more difficult because I think, in comparison to Mercedes and Ferrari this year, we are not maybe that far ahead with the car and Ferrari is just super quick on the straights, so it’s hard to gain that time back in the corners, especially in qualifying.”