The Circuit de Catalunya has always been a very difficult track for overtakes, with nobody ever winning when starting from third in the dry.
Verstappen himself, of course, did take his maiden victory in F1 in Barcelona when he started from fourth in 2016, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg famously colliding at turn 4.
Commenting on how his race pace compares to that of Mercedes, Verstappen said: "Difficult to say, at the moment.
"I felt happy in the car. I just hope I can apply a bit of pressure. I know it's very hard to overtake around here but we're going to do everything we can to be close to them and to make it a bit difficult."
Verstappen missed out on pole position by over seven-tenths of a second, but he confessed to being "pretty happy" with the result, accepting the one lap pace difference between the Mercedes W11 and his Red Bull RB16.
"It's the maximum we can do at the moment," admitted Verstappen. "I think overall, the whole weekend we've been P3. Pretty happy with that, I hope we can be a bit closer in the race.
"Yesterday, in the long runs, it didn't seem too bad but of course tomorrow is a different day again so we'll have to see."
The long-runs in FP2 suggested Valtteri Bottas, who starts in second, had the best race pace, with Verstappen logging the second-best times in the long stints and Hamilton coming third - although the three ran a similar pace for the duration of the stints.
The nine-time grand prix winner currently is runner-up in the drivers' championship, although he is 30 points behind Hamilton.
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