Max Verstappen admits he thought Red Bull would be a lot closer to Mercedes in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Verstappen will start the race at the Circuit of the Americas from row two, his best lap in Q3 a 1min 35.747secs, which left him 0.238secs off team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo in third and a massive 0.748secs off Lewis Hamilton's pole time.

"They [Mercedes] turned it up quite a bit in qualifying, which I didn't expect. I thought we were closer," Verstappen confirmed. "I expect them to be pretty racy in race pace as well."

UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - Qualifying results

Asked how his car felt in qualifying, the Dutchman, who was quickest in final practice, added: "From P3 onwards if you get the right balance, you get a good feeling in qualifying. I think from P3 onwards I think we had good balance but it didn't work out in Q3. Sometimes that happens.

"The team [also] asked me to do a switch change on my final lap, so in the final corner there was a lot of oversteer, which wasn't great."

When and Where can I watch the United States Grand Prix?

Meanwhile, Verstappen said he was happy to be able to get through Q2 using the soft tyre, something that means he will line-up on the grid with the same rubber as the Mercedes', and contrary to the rest of the top-ten who are on the supersofts.

"The team asked what we thought was the most comfortable feeling and I said I preferred the softs," he continued.

"I had to do a good lap time [in Q2] and luckily it was good enough [to get into Q3], so we will see what happens tomorrow."

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