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Red Bull needs close qualifying to target win - Verstappen

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Red Bull will need a gap with pole position of no more than three tenths to hope fight for a race win in Melbourne, says Max Verstappen.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit is still comfortably positioned among the trio of front-runners based on the results of two weeks of pre-season testing.

Both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen enjoyed a relatively trouble-free period of preparation behind the wheel of Red Bull's new RB14.

While the Mercedes-Ferrari-Red Bull dominance looks all set to resume in Australia, the running order among the three teams is anybody's guess.

Regardless, Verstappen believes only a small gap in qualifying will allow the team to put itself in contention for an outright win at Albert Park at the end of the month.

"First of all, we have to be closer," said the Dutch prodigy.

"Once you are within three or four tenths in qualifying, at least you can fight them in the race because normally in the race it should be a bit closer.

"We are definitely targeting to be in those three tenths."

An early start on the design of Red Bull's 2018 has put the team in a position to hit the ground running in Melbourne, contrary to previous years when development lagged, keeping the bulls out of the fray in the early part of the season.

"Our car from the beginning of 2017 to the end was already a massive difference, so we expect to be a lot closer.

"I don’t know how close we will be, but we will find out in practice and qualifying over there."

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