Max Verstappen believes Toro Rosso can target getting on terms with Williams in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix after a strong start to the weekend.

On a weekend that has seen several teams bring a raft of upgrade packages, Toro Rosso's minimal tweaks have instead seen it emerge as the third fastest team from FP1 and FP2, with Verstappen setting the sixth fastest times in both sessions.

Indeed, though the young Dutchman was always expecting Toro Rosso to excel at the Circuit de Catalunya, he feels there is a chance the Italian team could be fighting as high as the third row come qualifying.

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"We knew this track would suit our car anyway, some medium and high speed corners, that is where our car performs," he said. "This track is not so engine-related, not as much as Bahrain and China so it helps us.

"You still have to wait and see what the Mercedes engined cars do in qualifying, but I think the margin we have compared to the teams behind us is quite good so I am quite confident.

"Q3 is the target for qualifying, he continued. "Of course normally Mercedes and Ferrari will be in front. Williams I think we can maybe challenge, so I am looking forward to that. I would be really happy with [the third row]."