Sergio Perez believes he lacked the "fundamentals" after struggling his way to fourth on the grid for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Mexican lost the back of his Red Bull and spun into the gravel during Q1 before recovering to ensure a place on the second row of the grid alongside team-mate Max Verstappen but behind the two Mercedes drivers.
Despite qualifying just a tenth-and-a-half behind the Dutchman, Perez was left disgruntled by his performance.
"There were some fundamentals that I lacked today with the tyres, just not getting the maximum out of them," said Perez.
"Theoretically, I can do a good lap with good sectors here and there but not being able to put it together at the right time.
"We tried everything, we tried a warm-up lap, an out-push and so on. Nothing really worked but anyway, what matters is, I assume that most of the grid is in this boat.
"Even the Mercs we saw on the lap they did on mediums in Q2, it was a tricky qualifying on a tricky weekend. I did the same lap time I think as practice one so this is a unique place."
Perez's performance ensures Red Bull will have a two-pronged attack to take the fight to Mercedes during the race, something that will give the team strategic flexibility not often enjoyed when Pierre Gasly or Alex Albon were in the Mexican's place.
Addressing previous issues for Red Bull's second driver, Perez added: "There are reasons why they were not like this in the past but this is absolutely the minimum so I am not even thinking about that as a target or where I need to be or don't need to be.
"I am just focused on trying to improve and today, even though the grid position is good, I am not pleased with how I was on top of the car. Today I was unable to get the best out of my tyres so we have some work to do to understand that."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.