Max Verstappen could live with his second fastest time in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Spain on Saturday.

The Dutch Red Bull Racing driver was slightly slower than Lewis Hamilton.

"It was a good qualifying overall. I struggled in Q1, a better balance in Q2 and in Q3 my first lap was good, but my second less so", Verstappen said in his interview right after the pit lane.

Verstappen only had to concede 0.036 to Hamilton, who conquered pole position for the hundredth time in his Formula 1 career.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes took third place.

"This second place is good for us. We knew Mercedes is hard to beat on this track. I am glad we are so close to them. That gives confidence for tomorrow's race," said Verstappen.

Max Verstappen in action during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Spain.

Max Verstappen in action during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Spain.

Photo: Getty

'Tire management will be very important'

Verstappen is engaged in an exciting battle for the world title together with Hamilton.

After three races, he is eight points behind the defending champion and can become the first Dutch leader ever in the World Cup standings on Sunday.

"It will be a long run to the first corner, so hopefully we can already take a shot there. Furthermore, tire saving will be very important. We have to make sure that we are on top of that. This is a cool track to drive on."

Verstappen has good memories of the Spanish Grand Prix.

He immediately won his first race in the service of Red Bull in 2016 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Hamilton has been victorious for the past four years.

See also: Watch the World Cup positions with Verstappen just behind Hamilton