Christian Horner has slated Red Bull junior and AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda for disrupting the team's push for pole at the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were looking to overcome a Mercedes front-row lockout following the first run in Q3 when they both came across the Japanese rookie who had run off track through the tight and twisting middle sector.
Whilst Mexican Perez ran wide as he attempted to steer clear, Verstappen was forced to lift as he believed yellow flags might be shown.
The two Red Bull drivers ultimately secured the second row of the grid despite being clear favourites for pole after practice.
Asked where the team had lost out to Mercedes, Horner told Sky Sports F1: "I think we got Tsunoda'd.
"Both drivers were up on their last lap, Max was up two and a half tenths and Checo was just under two tenths up. I don't understand why he was just cruising around at that part of the circuit.
"It is disappointing because it affected both of the drivers. They are both pretty annoyed so we are still second row of the grid and we can have a good race from there."
On whether there was any surprise over Mercedes' pace in the final part of qualifying, Horner replied: "They are very quick.
"We could see yesterday that their engine, they have addressed the issues they had previously here.
"We underperformed in Q3 but it is very, very tight. They have just got a good straight-line speed here which is going to be tough."