Max Verstappen was happy to finish in the top three in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix and is hopeful he can be closer to Mercedes on long-run pace.
Verstappen struggled in free practice at Monza on Friday but recovered to take third, behind only Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, for Saturday's Sprint Qualifying at Monza.
"This track is always going to be difficult," said Verstappen.
"We struggled a bit more than we wanted in free practice but we recovered quite well throughout qualifying.
"I'm happy to be third and I think for the race hopefully we can be a bit closer. You never know around here, we have FP2, so we can see what we can do to help the long-run pace a bit more."
There will be points on offer for the top three finishers of the 100km Sprint Qualifying (three for the winner, two for second place and one for third place), which will be held for the second time this year.
Verstappen has played down his chances in the build-up to the Italian GP and admits solid points will be the target this weekend.
"Of course, naturally for us it will be a bit more difficult around here, but nevertheless we can score a good amount of points," he concluded.