So far this weekend, it's been clear that Red Bull have been playing second fiddle to Ferrari in Las Vegas, with Max Verstappen acknowledging that his team had been lacking in one-lap performance.
"It's quite cold out there," he explained after the end of qualifying in which he was third fastest.
"It's quite slippery, and of course being on a street circuit as well, you're trying to get as close as you can to the walls but that's not always very straightforward.
"I do think that we maximised today," he insisted. "The whole weekend so far we've been lacking a little bit of one-lap performance, and that was also quite clear in qualifying."
“First qualifying here in Vegas and as expected it was one that continually evolved," added Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "It was slippery out there and that affected performance.
"Max struggled with grip. It was not the usual qualifying for him that we are used to seeing," he noted.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was quickest in all three rounds of qualifying, with Carlos Sainz second fastest despite having a new car built up for him after his encounter with a water valve cover in FP1.
But the repairs meant Sainz incurred a ten place grid drop, and as a consequence Verstappen will be promoted to the front row of the grid battling with polesitter Leclerc at the start of tomorrow's race.
“The grid penalty to Carlos puts [Max] on the front row," Horner confirmed. "And this is a track that so far doesn’t look like it is too testing for the drivers, it is one you can over take on so it should be an exciting race tomorrow.”
Verstappen certainly felt that whatever the problem with one-lap performance, the race will be another matter. "The car felt good yesterday.
"Of course I had hoped for a little bit more pace today, but we know that the points are scored tomorrow.
"It will be a tough race, the first one here. There might be some safety cars and it’s of course a very long straight where a lot of racing will happen.”
Verstappen will be without any support at the front from his team mate Sergio Perez who once again missed the final cut - this time after being called into pit lane with over two minutes to go in Q2.
The subsequent improvement in track conditions meant that what had looked like a reasonably safe position in the top ten ended up with him being pushed out and finishing P12. Once Sainz' penalty is applied, Perez will start in 11th.
"Unfortunately for Checo he was unable to make it out of Q2," reported Horner.
"He drove well, but went early and was within a tenth but it wasn’t enough.
"He will be starting a little further down the grid than we would like, but we expect him to climb well tomorrow."
"It was an unfortunate qualifying," agreed Perez. "The gaps were super close. We just didn’t maximize our full potential. We had some more pace in it and could have been a little bit faster It’s something we need to understand.
"Our run programme wasn’t quite the right one, we finished a little too early, with four minutes left of Q2 and people just kept improving, there was a little more track evolution there.
"We will analyse it but on the other hand there is nothing we can do now, so let’s focus on tomorrow because I think we should be able to come through the field, we have a fast race car.
"DRS on the Strip should help the racing and we will see what we are able to do. We just need to be patient. I believe in our pace. I think tomorrow is going to be a very interesting race."