Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes should be "really proud" of their performance in qualifying in Mexico City, but an engine problem did not stop them as quickly as they could have.
He was heard on the team radio after his first run in Q3 reporting a "loss of power", with his lap also written off for exceeding track limits at the start of the lap.
Hamilton recovered and put in a final flying performance towards the end of practice which was enough to finish third on the grid for the race at the Autodromo Hermanos.
The seven-time former world champion has struggled on Saturdays this season. The seven-time former world champion thinks Mercedes can be happy with their efforts.
"There are definitely positives today," Hamilton said after Sky F1 qualifying. It is amazing to be second and third. And the car feels great this weekend.
With Russell taking the top spot in RP 2 and 3 and both Mercedes drivers right in the mix during qualifying, Verstappen's eventual 30th buffer to the rest left Hamilton wondering
Despite this, he hopes Mercedes will be able to challenge for the race win - with 71 laps ahead on Sunday.
"I still think they're the ones to beat, they're still fully ahead of us," the Brit said of Red Bull. “Three-tenths in quality is still a considerable chunk.