Verstappen: It's not about showing how quick we can be

BARCELONA, Spain -- Max Verstappen says his first day of testing in 2017 was not about showing the true pace of the Red Bull.

The 19-year-old set the third fastest time on the second day of this week's test, but was over a second off the pace set by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. After teammate Daniel Ricciardo was limited to 39 laps by a sensor and battery issue on Monday, Verstappen was able to notch up 89 laps in the car on Tuesday. He said the extra mileage was the main target and the team was not interested in chasing headline times at this stage.

"For us at the moment it is not showing how quick we can be," Verstappen said. "It is the first test week, the second day, I think it is much more important just to get the mileage to see if all the parts are okay, and then we will see in the next few days how fast we are.

"We are not focused on lap times yet, it is still way too early. Everybody is doing their own programmes so you don't really know where you are but we can be happy with the day as we've done a lot of mileage."

With aerodynamic design traditionally a Red Bull strength, the team is expected to be Mercedes' closest challengers this season. However, much will depend on the performance of the updated Renault engine, which is 95 per cent new this year.

"I think the reliability [of the power unit] was pretty good, we didn't have any issues and I think it is important to get the mileage in first because it is a new engine again," Verstappen added. "It is too early to say where we are with the engine but they've made a step which is always positive."