Red Bull F1 duo Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon confident of taking the fight to Mercedes in the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.

For the first time since the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull locked out the second row of the grid with Verstappen once again beating Albon.

Verstappen was just 0.402s off pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton - the closest Red Bull has been to pole this season.

With tyre degradation expected to be a decisive factor in Sunday’s race, Verstappen is hopeful he can get amongst the Mercedes drivers once again.

“From my side, I always expected to be third,” said Verstappen. “Of course, coming from Monza, this was a lot better. I always expected it to be better than Monza of course – I think Monza was just the worst track for us. Everything [at Monza] is just not good: low downforce, long straights, it’s not what we like. But I’m pleased to be third.

“I would hope so, but first of course, we have to be able to follow. We don’t know how quick they’re going to be in the race, so first let’s see if we’re able to, and then of course if we are, we’re going to put the pressure on.”

Albon was happy to have reduced the deficit to team-mate Verstappen in qualifying with the gap being just over four-tenths.

“We didn’t do the Q2 second run, so I kind of spent 20 minutes in the car not doing anything. [The first Q3 run] was an okay lap but it could have been better, and that’s what Q3 run two was going to be,” Albon said. “The progress is there from Spa to Monza to here, the gap’s closing compared to my team-mate, so it’s going the right way.”

Looking at the race, the Thai driver hopes Red Bull can be a 'thorn in Mercedes' side' as it looks to win its second race of 2020.

“We’ll see with the race pace,” Albon added. “The tyres are lasting better than anyone expected, so it will be about management… But hopefully we can be a thorn in Mercedes’ side.”