Max Verstappen was pleased with his P3 in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, while boss Christian Horner backed the RB16’s race pace to bring home a good result tomorrow.
But, both conceded that the Mercedes looked strong around Silverstone as the Black Arrows ran around a second a lap faster in qualifying.
Verstappen was two tenths ahead of Charles Leclerc on the second row of the grid, but it was a disappointing weekend for Albon who could only manage twelfth on the grid.
“I would say we had a good qualifying session and got everything out of the car that we could,” said Verstappen after qualifying.
“My final lap in Q3 was good but you could see very early on that Mercedes were too fast, just like they have been for the past few races.
“I’m happy with P3 and it gives us a fighting chance for tomorrow, so I hope we can get a clean start and keep the pressure up.”
Horner added: “I would be lying if I said today hasn’t been frustrating, especially with the kind of margins we are looking at to Mercedes.
“The gap to the front remains our focus and clearly there is work to do for us as a Team, but we won’t stop pushing.
“Our race pace is often more competitive compared with qualifying so hopefully we can maximize our points haul tomorrow with both cars.”
Alex Albon has had a difficult weekend so far – he crashed out in FP2 and then missed most of FP3 with an electrical issue.
He then failed to reach Q3 for the second race in a row, qualifying twelfth and behind Pierre Gasly in the B team. However, in Hungary the team took some of the blame for sending him out for his final Q2 run in traffic.
Albon said: We were on the back foot slightly heading into qualifying after missing the track time in FP3 and I just struggled getting up to speed.
“It was tricky out there, the wind is changing all the time and the balance changes with that so we needed a bit of fine-tuning.
“The times in Q2 are also obviously very tight out there so a small amount of time was worth a lot of grid positions and we just lost out.”
This sentiment was echoed by Horner, who added: “It was disappointing for Alex and the Team not to make it to Q3 but losing the track time in FP3 hurt him, especially after yesterday’s off.
“The wind has a massive impact on the aero of these cars and their performance which can unsettle the car and in turn the driver.”