Lewis Hamilton said there was no way he could have gone any faster than the lap that put him fifth on the grid in Monaco.
The 2008 Monte Carlo winner reckoned Red Bull -- which took first and third on the grid with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel -- was just too quick to challenge on the street track.
"On that last lap I literally got everything that was in the car, there was really nothing left," said Hamilton. "So clearly the Red Bulls have quite a lot more downforce, specially in the middle sector -- they're like half a second faster than me.
"Literally, I touched all the barriers I could touch and used all the road I could use, so I'm happy with my performance."
Last week Red Bull dominated qualifying in Spain, but Hamilton was able to split them in the race until crashing when a tire deflated due to a wheel problem two laps from the end. He is optimistic that the gap will close in race trim again in Monaco.
"It would've been great to be on pole, but the race is tomorrow, we're on the clean side for the start, and it's not over till it's over," Hamilton said. "Tomorrow, hopefully, the car will be a little bit more competitive in the race, and hopefully we can make some steps forward."