[I] felt like if you got lucky you could put in a blistering lap but yeah, probably one out of five I could make it happen and the four other laps I was sliding and yeah, struggling to stay on.
"I always feel quite good on this track and today has been a nice turning point after the first few races where it hasn't gone to plan", he said.
Nearly as painful was the narrowest of margins by which he lost out to his team mate, meaning Ricciardo will start in sixth place - one spot behind Verstappen. "I don't know what I could have done more with what we had".
Red Bull hadn't looked to be challenging for pole in any free practice sessions, only managing second in free practice two, and this continued in qualifying. However he didn't sound all together convinced that this is on the cards again this weekend.
Verstappen finished third at the Circuit de Catalunya to stand on the podium for the first time in F1 2018, holding off Sebastian Vettel in an injured Red Bull after he damaged his front wing in contact with Lance Stroll.
Their battle at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2016 was close but clean as Ricciardo went on to take the win at Sepang, while Verstappen's wayward Red Bull eliminated the Australian from the Hungarian Grand Prix after just three corners past year, so there is some previous, but none of the other top teams have been squeaky clean in that sense either. "I don't know. We'll try".
"Now from turn 1 to turn 4 it's flat-out with corners in it", he explained.
"And from turn 7 to turn 10 is also straight now because turn 9 is flat". We talk about costs and being responsible but what has just been introduced is a completely new concept which will cost millions and millions of pounds.
"I still don't know what the faster tyre is to be honest", he admitted. So I hope from now onwards, it just goes in that direction, because I don't think I need to do anything different. "At the end of the day, it has brought me to where I am so I can't really complain about that".
"Even for me it was a guess, so a bit tricky". I don't think many people will actually choose the Supersoft [for the race]. Over one lap maybe you could go a bit faster, but in the long run it would just fall apart. The vehicle behaved really well all race on both soft and medium tyres.