Max Verstappen has conceded the pace advantage of Mercedes made it "impossible" to limit Lewis Hamilton's inroads in the drivers' standings at recent grands prix.
Since his disqualification from qualifying in Brazil, Hamilton has registered back to back victories in a crushing manner to shrink Verstappen's points advantage to just eight with two races to go.
"It’s exciting," said Verstappen. "I would of course have liked to make it a bigger gap, but when you don't have the pace, it’s impossible to do that.
"So we’ll just try to be better, and come back strong, especially in Saudi on the street track, and then yeah, we’ll see in Abu Dhabi."
After falling foul of the stewards' in Qatar qualifying, Verstappen deemed to have ignored double-waved yellows, the Red Bull driver was pushed back five places on the grid to P7.
However, much like Hamilton in Brazil, Verstappen was able to quickly recover the lost ground.
Asked if his launch was the best of his F1 career, Verstappen added: "Yeah, it was a very good start, actually.
"I didn’t expect… I mean, it’s difficult to expect because there were people of course, around me with softs, but then the two guys ahead of me had medium tyres and it’s a new track.
"You arrive at turn 1 not really having had a lot of experience as well, of what is possible or what can happen, but I chose the right line into turn 1 and then yeah, the other cars went a bit wider so that was very nice.
"It was enjoyable and hectic as well of course, because you have to be a little bit careful not to pick up damage or whatever on that first lap."