Daniel Ricciardo feels Red Bull's RB13 Formula 1 car "could be a lot better" after struggling to match the pace of the front-runners in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix on Saturday, taking fourth place on the grid.

Red Bull arrived in Austin hopeful of continuing its recent good form after back-to-back double podiums, but Ricciardo was unable to get close to pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton or Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in qualifying, finishing almost half a second back from the fastest time.

"The whole weekend we were struggling quite a bit just to try and get a setup we were happy with," Ricciardo explained after the session.

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"The wind has been really strong and that has been one of the factors. The track is a little bit bumpier than last year, and I just felt like the ride and a few things on the car we could have done better.

"We finally figured a bit more of it out in qualifying. That last run was good, but we are still not quite there. To be around four-tenths off pole with Lewis is not too bad. We made the steps needed and a couple tenths off Vettel wasn’t too bad."

Ricciardo made no secret of his struggles with the RB13 car's setup despite most in the paddock praising Red Bull for its display so far this weekend.

"Everyone seems to think [we were on the pace] but I thought the car was terrible. I thought we were slow and everyone else seems to think we were not that slow," Ricciardo said.

"For the car I know it could be a lot better. I have not really felt like we have had great balance all weekend. For sure some of that is by the wind.

"Up until that last run in Q3 I was like the car is okay but we should be better. So we finally found a bit of something there at the end."