With the season now underway, we’ve got our first real glimpse at what the 2017 Formula One season will look like, and it seems like this year might be a Mercedes vs Ferrari show. But it’s too early to rule Red Bull out. Red Bull seemed oddly missing last weekend. The biggest part the team played in the race was Max Verstappen acting as a road block for Lewis Hamilton. The teenager finished the race an unspectacular fifth, whilst his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retired due to an issue with the sensor on his gearbox. Even before the race, Red Bull appeared to be off of the pace. Though the pair were third and fourth in FP1 (behind Mercedes), they fell further back throughout the testing and qualifying. It’s unsurprising with the team using 2016 specification engines after Renault postponed the update due to reliability concerns. The heavier engines no doubt aren’t helping their 2017 campaign, but the team aren’t as far back as you’d think, if you believe Verstappen and Christian Horner. “To be honest, I don’t think we’re that far behind,” Horner told ESPN. “With Mercedes I think we have about half a second to find. Ferrari have been very impressive here and probably had the quickest car [in Melbourne]. We probably had the third quickest car and we’ve got to find a good half a second to get into the fight ahead. Max was pushing Kimi hard all race but we didn’t have the pace of Vettel or Hamilton.” Verstappen maintained a gap of about two seconds for most of the race, though he fell away from the Ferrari towards the end of the race, finishing with a gap of over six seconds. “I was still a bit surprised that we were that close to Kimi,” Verstappen said. “Pace was quite good compared to him. The whole race we were quite close to each other. “Behind me there was not much pressure, so that was very nice. I think the car behaved quite a bit better in the race than in qualifying. It’s difficult to say how much [the team is away from the front]. It looked a lot better in the race, I’m happy about that. We need to improve, and we will work hard to do that. So we’ll see in the next few races.” It’s too early to say Red Bull will be out of the fight between Ferrari and Mercedes, especially with Melbourne not being the best indicator for the direction of the season. But it seems like the team still has work to do, especially as they try to claw back the deficit of the old power unit specification. For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Do you think Red Bull will be able to catch Mercedes and Ferrari? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.