Max Verstappen feels he extracted the maximum performance from his Red Bull Honda to secure a second row start for the 2019 Formula 1 opener in Australia despite enduring setup worries during practice.

The Dutch driver has undergone a monocoque change overnight and hit setup issues throughout practice but fought back in qualifying to split the Ferrari pair to take fourth place just behind Sebastian Vettel on the second row.

While Verstappen concedes it has been a mixed weekend so far in terms of performance with the new-look Red Bull Honda, taking on its maiden Grand Prix as a new partnership, he feels he maximised his qualifying performance against the front-runners.

“In qualifying I would say it was quite a perfect session in terms of what we could do with performance and in terms of what we have,” Verstappen said. “The whole run-up to it wasn’t perfect.

“We all know that it is a quite strong track for them [Mercedes] and they have been really quick, while we have been playing a lot with the setup to try something different. Some worked, some didn’t obviously in the morning. But I am very happy with fourth in qualifying.”

Having felt he “literally took everything out of” qualifying, Verstappen says he’ll reserve full judgement on Red Bull’s performance with Honda at the start of its new partnership.

“We will find out tomorrow exactly how competitive we are but it seems very smooth,” he said. “We are working really well together so I really have nothing to complain to them about.

“They are working really hard and really focused so we had no issues which is great. It gives you a really positive feeling and enjoyment as well while driving.”

Verstappen’s new Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly was caught out by the tight Q1 times and will start down in 17th place.