Max Verstappen is hopeful he can “put pressure on” Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.

Verstappen was once again a distant third in qualifying, ending it just over seven-tenths off pole-sitter Hamilton.

Typically this season Red Bull has been closer to Mercedes over a race distance and the Dutchman is hopeful this trend continues into Sunday’s grand prix in Barcelona. 

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"If we could have had softer tyres then we could have had a chance But it's just a bit more tricky," Verstappen said. "We know they are very fast over one lap, there's not much we can do about that at the moment.

"I felt very happy in the long run yesterday, with the balance of the car and the rear, the tyres as well. Tomorrow again is a new day. We'll have to try and show it again. Of course, I hope that I can be close to them and put the pressure on."

Unlike in the most recent races at Silverstone, teams opted to qualify on the softest tyre in Q2 in Barcelona meaning they will be forced to start the race on it.

Verstappen believes the soft tyre will hold up well in the first stint of the race despite the high temperatures expected tomorrow.

"I think the soft tyre is good enough to start the race on," Verstappen added.

"Normally the softest compound is a bit more tricky, as it falls apart quite quickly. I think it's alright at the track here."

Verstappen currently sits second in the drivers' championship, 30 points behind Hamilton and four ahead of Bottas.