Verstappen’s hopes of a race win – let alone challenging for a first F1 title – are ebbing away week by week as Mercedes underline their superiority over Red Bull and the rest of the field.
The Dutchman was pleased with how qualifying went but admitted it was clear Hamilton and Bottas were always on course to secure another one-two.
“I think the lap itself, at the end of Q3, was really good,” Verstappen said. “You could see, of course, very early on in qualifying they were just way too fast, like they have been the last few races.
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“You just have to accept that. You try to do the best you can and that’s P3 for us. So I’m pretty pleased about that. After Hungary, to come back to be in P3 in qualifying, I think is a good start.
“In the race it’s different. I’m a little bit concerned. I don’t say: ‘I’m going to fight them’. But at least we have a fighting chance starting third.”
READ MORE: How British Grand Prix qualifying unfolded
“Today the wind changes and it becomes like a completely different car. Luckily in the right way. Today was a lot more fun to drive. But it is very sensitive.”
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon is under mounting pressure following a slow start to the 2020 F1 season.
And he’ll start Sunday’s British Grand Prix down in 13th after failing to get out of Q2 for the second successive race.
Albon was outqualified by Pierre Gasly, who has been tipped to make a move back from AlphaTauri after being demoted by Red Bull chiefs last year.
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