Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen's lock-up on his first Q3 lap cost the reigning champion pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman finished just over a quarter of a second adrift of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and suggested he was "all over the place" throughout the session.
Verstappen was on the fastest lap of the session on his first run but locked up under braking into the penultimate corner, losing valuable time.
Sergio Perez finished third fastest in the second Red Bull although faces a stewards' investigation for ignoring yellow flags but addressing the session, Horner told Sky Sports F1: “I am pretty happy with that.
"Second and third here, the drivers are so close, and both of them at different points looked like they might be able to grab pole.
“Max, that lock-up cost him probably about three tenths and that would have put him very close to Charles’ time. Checo had a small de-rate on his first lap and carried an extra tenth of fuel as well because he wanted to do three laps.
“So, I am pretty happy with that. It was a great lap by Charles but we are still on the front row and P3.”
Horner - Ferrari porpoising could be an issue
Red Bull rival Ferrari showed good pace throughout the qualifying session, but Horner believes the porpoising issue which causes the Scuderia's cars to bounce in a straight line could help Red Bull over the course of a race distance.
“They’ll have a bit of a headache with all that bouncing going on,” quipped Horner, before adding: “What we don’t really know, because the long runs weren’t long enough, is that going to have an effect on degradation and other characteristics?
“It’s going to be tough with them tomorrow, we know they have a very, very quick car but I still think we can race them and we will see how powerful these DRS zones are.”